25 Apr 2022 16:01

New generalized bill on foreign agents submitted to State Duma - MP Piskaryov

MOSCOW. April 25 (Interfax) - A new generalized bill regulating the activities of foreign agents in Russia has been submitted to the Russian State Duma.

The aforementioned bill consolidates, specifies and updates isolated norms of the country's relevant legislation and introduces a unified set of definitions, Chairman of the State Duma's Security Committee Vasily Piskaryov said on Telegram.

Specifically, the bill proposes introducing a unified register of foreign agents and individuals affiliated with foreign agents in Russia for the first time. The latter include persons who worked for foreign agents or received financial assistance from foreign agents to pursue their political activity. The register will be available to the public online. By the time the new law takes effect, all information from existing registers should automatically be transferred to the new unified register.

The second important innovation is a unified procedure for exclusion from the register.

Individuals may be removed from the register at the authorities' decision if they have not been working for foreign agents or have not been receiving financing from them for more than two years. In addition, a person may apply for removal from the register, and such an application will be reviewed within a 30-day period. Legal entities and civic organizations may also seek their removal from the register. In this case, a decision will be adopted within 60 days based on the results on an unscheduled inspection. Furthermore, liquidated legal entities, civic organizations that have ceased their activities and individuals in the event of their death will automatically be taken off the register.

In addition, under the bill, as the authorities add an individual to the register, they have five workdays at the most to inform this individual of it.

Third, the bill allows foreign agents not to label some of their texts, for instance their personal posts on social media, as a foreign agent's product. However, they will still have to label their materials if they are disseminated as part of a foreign agent's activities. The bill also partly changes the text of the input field that foreign agents and individuals affiliated with them are required to add to their materials.