Russia's Putin warns NGOs against "meddling" in Russia's affairs

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned foreign-funded organizations against "meddling" in the country's affairs.

Russia last year passed a law requiring all such non-governmental organizations to register as "foreign agents" — a derogatory term in the Russian language.

In his speech to the board of the intelligence agency FSB, successor to the KGB, Putin on Thursday defended the bill, saying that Moscow won't tolerate "any meddling in our internal affairs, any forms of pressure on Russia."

The Interfax news agency quoted FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov as saying that the United States has "raised geopolitical pressure" and still views Russia "as a major rival on the international stage."

Critics say Putin, a former KGB colonel, has used the NGO law and other recent legislation to incite anti-Americanism.