MOSCOW, January 14 (RAPSI) - The State Duma Committee on Constitutional Legislation has recommended that the lower house pass the bill on blacklisting unwelcome organizations in Russia, TASS reports Wednesday.
The bill would allow authorities to ban foreign and international organizations that “threaten the defense or security of the state (Russia)” or “pubic order and health.”
Under the bill, the designation of a foreign or international organization as undesirable would be followed by a restriction on opening new branch offices and the closure of existing ones.
The bill would also ban the distribution of information, including online. The decision to declare an organization undesirable would be taken by the Prosecutor General’s Office upon consultation with the Foreign Ministry and be based on information and documents provided by the interior and security agencies.
Furthermore, individuals involved in the operation of an undesirable foreign or international organization in Russia would be fined between 10,000 and 100,000 rubles ($154-$1,540).
The employees of an undesirable organization that continued to work in Russia could face criminal charges and fines ranging between 300,000 and 500,000 rubles ($4,630-$7,710) or two to eight years in prison.
The bill’s co-author, Alexander Tarnavsky, said that “these days we cannot but notice that certain foreign organizations are involved in undesirable activity” for various reasons, “either at the request of security services or due to other motives, including economic ones, in order to create problems for Russia and then purchase some Russian assets.” The purpose of the bill is to give Russia the right “to say that there are foreign organizations that are not friendly to Russia,” the politician confirmed.
He refused to give examples and name the organizations that the bill would target but expressed hope that the initiative would be an efficient preventive measure.