US, international NGOs included on Russian lawmakers' 'patriotic stop-list'

The upper house of Russia's parliament is calling on authorities to investigate whether some prominent foreign organizations, including the MacArthur Foundation and Freedom House, are a threat to Russia.

The so-called "patriotic stop-list" that was sent Wednesday to the prosecutor-general and the justice and foreign ministries also names the United States' International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute and the Open Society Foundation of liberal billionaire George Soros. Two Ukrainian ethnic organizations are also on the list of a dozen groups.

The upper chamber, the Federation Council, asked the authorities to investigate the groups' activities in Russia with a view to possibly declaring them undesirable under a recently passed law and shutting them down.

The law says organizations can be declared undesirable if they threaten Russia's defense or constitutional order.