Kremlin Promises Information on $1Bln in NGO Funding

Prosecutors will publish information on NGOs' funding once checks into the organizations are completed, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"The checks into NGOs that the Prosecutor General's Office is conducting will continue; we expect the information [on their funding] to be made public after the checks are concluded," Peskov said in comments carried by Interfax on Thursday.

The statement apparently comes in response to a letter sent by more than 50 Russian NGOs to Putin last week asking for a list of the 654 NGOs that receive foreign funding to be published.

In an interview earlier this month, Putin responded to criticism of the checks by saying that in the first four months since the law came into effect, 654 NGOs in Russia received more than 28 billion rubles ($909 million) in funding from abroad, or “almost $1 billion.”

Numerous Russian groups questioned that figure, saying they did not believe it could be so high.

Last month, prosecutors began large-scale inspections of NGOs in what the Justice Ministry said was an effort to check compliance with a law that requires NGOs receiving funding from abroad and engaged in "political activity" to register as "foreign agents."