30 Nov 2022 14:09

Russia's Federation Council endorses bill on bans for foreign agents

MOSCOW. Nov 30 (Interfax) - Russia's Federation Council has voted for a bill, which improves regulation of the foreign agent status.

According to the bill, the dateline of a registered media outlet "whose participant (founder) is a foreign agent has to contain an indication that the given media outlet is founded by a foreign agent."

The bill also designates places where assemblies, rallies, marches and demonstrations are prohibited. These include buildings and the territories of river, sea, railway and bus stations, airports, sea and river ports, and quays. The ban also applies to the buildings and territories of educational, medical, and social security organizations, as well as children's playgrounds and sports grounds.

Foreign agents are prohibited from staging assemblies, rallies, marches and demonstrations in the buildings of bodies of public authority, as well as on territories directly adjacent to such buildings and infrastructure facilities.

The bill prohibits rallies and marches on religious premises, in religious buildings and on land plots where such buildings are located, including those belonging to religious organizations, as well as pilgrimage places. An exception is made for public places where public services and other religious rituals and ceremonies are held.

The ban currently applies only to bridges, railway lines, territories directly adjacent to presidential residences, buildings of courts and emergency services, as well as the territories and buildings of penitentiary facilities.

Besides, Russian regions will additionally select places where assemblies, rallies, marches and demonstrations are banned due to historical, cultural, and other objective characteristics of a given Russian region, the bill said.

According to the bill, regions can determine "other places where assemblies, rallies, marches, and demonstrations are restricted in terms of the time of possible organization of these public events."

Under current legislation, information products intended for circulation in Russia are "media products, printed products, audiovisual products on any media, computer programs and databases, as well as information disseminated via entertainment events, via IT networks, including the Internet, and mobile radiotelephone communication networks."

Foreign agents will also be prohibited from educating minors, the bill said.

The bill also introduces to the law on procedures governing foreign investments in economic entities of strategic significance for defense and security of the state restrictive exemptions for foreign agents and for a group of persons that includes foreign agents if they participate in the charter capital of economic entities of strategic significance to Russia's defense and security.

According to the bill, foreign agents cannot use simplified accounting, while legal entities and individuals that are foreign agents cannot participate in state procurement.

Foreign agents' deposits in Russian banks will no longer be insured, the bill said.

The bill also prohibits political parties, their regional branches, and divisions from signing deals with foreign agents. Foreign agents will also be prohibited from organizing public events.

After the bill is signed into law and takes effect, foreign agents will be unable to monitor elections, take part in the expert council of any state agency or be members of public monitoring commissions.

A citizen with foreign agent status cannot perform civil service, the bill said. These citizens will be prohibited from military service as well.

Commenting on the bill, State Duma Security Committee head Vasily Piskaryov said law enforcement officers will not be able to continue their service if they get foreign agent status.