From the WSJ editorial on Russia’s proposal of a new NGO focused on “monitoring the situation in Europe concerning rights of ethnic minorities, immigrants, media and such.”
In any case, Europe hardly has a choice but to welcome the Russians. The EU would never dream, for instance, of shutting down, limiting or otherwise harassing NGOs — as the Putin administration has done for years to drive out organizations genuinely interested in helping democracy take root in Russia, to their own peril. So welcome to the Putin Foundation, or whatever the Kremlin will call its office planned for Brussels or London. We hope the president will turn out to be a quick study in the finer arts of safeguards on rights and political liberty — though, alas, nothing we’ve seen in his seven years in office suggests that is the case.