A great deal of scorn, for instance, was poured on the decision last November by the U.S. Congress to earmark $4 million in 2006 for the development of Russian democratic parties
The $4 million allocated by the U.S. Congress will be shared between three prominent U.S. organizations: the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the International Republican Institute (IRI).
President Vladimir Putin recently urged the country's security services to prevent foreign governments from meddling in Russian affairs through nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
He also warned Russian organizations to be more cautious about receiving foreign funding.
His comments, which echoed similar remarks by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, illustrate the ever-increasing scrutiny imposed on the funding of democracy-building programs since the "colored" revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan.
Russian rights activists are now bracing for the implementation of a new law that will place the funding and activities of NGOs under strict state control.