2nd Right of Reply to the Russian Federation
As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Harry Kamian
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
November 30, 2017
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Since my Russian colleague brought up U.S. legislation and his familiarity with it, I thought it might be appropriate, as the official representative of the government of the United States, to provide a bit more details regarding that law. And for those participating states that still may have some questions about it, including those who may not have been able to attend the session in April that over 40 participating states did attend. And, if for some reason you don’t feel confident that you can take my word for it, I encourage you to take a look at the FARA.gov website. But, bear with me for a couple of minutes while I share some of the information about the law to ensure that those of us who are here engaged in this important discussion truly understand, at least, the U.S. law.
FARA promotes transparency, without restricting or limiting expression.
Second, it requires public disclosure of certain activities and relationships through registration by “agents of foreign principals” within the Department of Justice.
Third, FARA does not target agents of foreign principals from any specific country. It is neutral in its treatment of all countries.
And for those of you who perhaps question the applicability of the law, I would encourage you to take a look at the section on the website that lists the number of organizations that are listed there and the wide range of countries from which they operate.
FARA includes extremely important exemptions for some activities, including diplomatic, commercial, humanitarian fundraising, religious, scholastic, scientific, fine arts, and legal activities.
FARA does not inhibit freedom of expression or limit publishing of materials. It does not regulate the content of information disseminated. It does not place any limitations on the agent’s lobbying or publication of information or advocacy materials.
It does not impose limits or restrictions on the receipt of foreign funding by non-governmental organizations operating in the United States, nor does it impose any tax.
Let me just repeat that last one, it does not impose limits or restrictions on the receipt of foreign funding by non-governmental organizations operating in the United States, nor does it impose any tax.
Finally, the registration requirements under FARA are not triggered by foreign government funding alone. Rather, registration is required for those conducting certain activities at the request of, or under the direction or control of, a foreign principal.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.