Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill which will allow foreign organisations to be banned from operating in the country.
The new law will give authorities the right to prosecute non-governmental organisations if considered “undesirable” or a threat to national security.
What constitutes “undesirable” is unclear.
Those backing the bill claim it will protect Russia from any outside interference as relations with the West deteriorate over Ukraine.
NGOs in Russia are already feeling the squeeze after a 2012 law, which requires them to register as “foreign agents”.
The United States government issued a statement saying it was “deeply troubled” by the law and there has been a strong response against the introduction of the bill by the British government and a number of NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
Many believe the new law will be used to clamp down on political opposition to the Kremlin.
Individuals working for an NGO could face a maximum six-year jail term if found to be “undesirable”.
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