World

Russia parliament gives initial approval to law on declaring foreign groups 'undesirable'

Russia's lower house of parliament has passed the first reading of a proposed law that could bring further crackdowns on foreign organizations in the country.

The measure calls for foreign or international organizations to be declared "undesirables" if they are found to be a threat to Russia's security, defense capability or constitutional order. It says such a designation would be made by the prosecutor general's office in consultation with the foreign ministry.

An undesirable organization could have its assets seized and be blocked from having a physical presence in Russia.

The proposed law, which the lower house of parliament passed 384-2 in the first of three readings on Tuesday, comes two years after Russia ordered that non-governmental organizations receiving funding from abroad register as foreign agents.