Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Medvedev called for tougher liability for foreign agents Medvedev called for tougher liability for those who “operate against the country and receive money from enemies” rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/media/img/4/80/756537358752804.jpg” alt=”Medvedev urged to 'stop being silly' with foreign agents” />
Russia needs to introduce stricter control over foreign agents, said in his Telegram channel the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council, the Chairman of the “United Russia” Dmitry Medvedev.
“Stop talking nonsense, especially during the period of a special military operation and unlimited anti-Russian sanctions,” — he wrote. Deputy Chairman of the Security Council believes that it is necessary to “introduce a more accurate classification” for foreign agents and toughen responsibility for people who “carry out activities directed against the country in such a difficult period, and receive money from our enemies for this.”
“The activities of foreign agents should be put under strict control, become transparent for our society, — he calls.
According to Medvedev, control over foreign agents in Russia was “rather formal.” He believes that the Russian authorities act “much more liberally than American legislators,” since they do not consider foreign agents to be criminals. An organization that receives such a status does not fall under a ban, as in the United States or Europe, “just a marking appears on its page or in references to it,” Medvedev wrote.
Deputy Chairman of the Security Council believes that for individuals , “working in the interests of a foreign state”, there should be a ban on public activity and criminal prosecution.
The Russian Ministry of Justice maintains four registers of foreign agents: the media, individuals-foreign agents, unregistered associations and NGOs. All foreign agents must report on their activities and how the money received from abroad was spent. They are also required to mark their materials with a special signature. Violation of the rules of activity of foreign agents provides not only administrative, but also criminal liability. For example, in March 2021, amendments came into force, according to which for “malicious evasion”; from inclusion in the registry or failure to provide activity reports can face up to five years in prison.
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In April, the State Duma submitted a draft law “On Control over the Activities of Persons Under Foreign Influence”, which, according to the authors, is designed to consolidate the disparate current legislation in this area. In particular, the document formulated the concepts of “foreign agent”; and “foreign influence”.
The first ones are proposed to be considered a person “who has received support and (or) is under foreign influence in other forms”; foreign influence means the provision of support to a person by a foreign source (for example, a foreign state, its authorities, international organizations), as well as the impact on this person, “including by coercion, persuasion”; or in other ways. According to the document, it is possible to obtain the status of a foreign agent without foreign funding or certain types of assistance, and, for example, as a result of the “influence” of foreign source.
The authors propose to merge four registers of foreign agents into one. The initiative implies that those who receive such a status will be prohibited from organizing public events (rallies, processions, pickets); conduct teaching, educational, educational activities for minors; to produce information products for them and receive state financial support.
According to Vasily Piskarev, the head of the commission for investigating the facts of interference of foreign states in the internal affairs of Russia, the main goal of the document— “not prohibitive, not repressive, but more informational, aimed at ensuring the transparency of their activities.”
The Human Rights Council said that the bill contains a number of shortcomings, it is “actually unreasonable” expands the list of those who can be recognized as foreign agents. In particular, the HRC pointed out that the concept of “foreign influence” the document is spelled out in such a way that it can be understood as “any method of influence that the administrative body deems sufficient at its discretion.”