25 May 2018 09:25

State Duma ready to heed opinion of businessmen opposed to penalizing compliance with U.S. sanctions in Russia - MP Zhukov

ST. PETERSBURG. May 25 (Interfax) - The Russian State Duma stands ready to heed the opinion of the business community that has voiced opposition to a bill that would make it a crime to comply with Western sanctions in Russian territory, the lower chamber's First Deputy Chairman Alexander Zhukov said.

"Yes, they have objections, especially as far as the first part [of the draft law] is concerned," Zhukov told reporters on Friday on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, adding that he means the bill's section that envisages criminal liability for private individuals for refusing to fulfill ordinary economic transactions. The second part of the draft law carries penalties for deliberate actions that facilitate the introduction of sanctions by a foreign state.

When asked whether the State Duma is ready to accommodate business people's concerns over this bill, Zhukov said: "I think, yes, it is ready."

Following a fiercely critical response from the business community, the State Duma last week postponed its second reading of the bill on criminal liability for compliance with Western sanctions. The bill was drafted in response to the latest sanctions introduced by the United States.