State Duma in the third, final reading accepted updated law on “foreign agents”.
Now “foreign agents” will be able to declare everyone who receives support from abroad or “is under foreign influence and carries out political activities or purposeful collection of information in the field of military-technical activities of Russia.”
- “Foreign agents” will not be able to receive state funding in the implementation of creative activities;
- will not be able to teach;
- they are prohibited from conducting educational activities among minors and producing information products for them;
- “foreign agent” is not entitled to be the organizer of a public event;
- are deprived of the right to operate significant objects of critical information infrastructure and engage in activities to ensure the security of significant objects of critical information infrastructure;
- they are prohibited from participating in the procurement of goods, works, services to meet state and municipal needs;
- “foreign agents” are subject to restrictions related to investing in enterprises of strategic importance for the country’s defense and state security.
The register of “foreign agents” will become unified from December 1, without being divided into four active lists. At the same time, a register of people “affiliated with foreign agents” will be introduced. These include the founders, directors, members, participants or employees of an organization declared to be a “foreign agent”. Also, “affiliated persons” may include those who are involved in politics and receive money or property from “foreign agents” for this.
People who have been declared “affiliated persons” are not subject to the requirements established for “foreign agents”.
331 deputies voted for the adoption of the bill, 5 were against, 11 abstained.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, freedom of the press in Russia has practically ceased to exist, and the level of censorship is “unheard of since Soviet times.” This conclusion was made by the experts of the international organization “Reporters Without Borders”.
Russia ranked 155th out of 180 in the rating. This is the worst indicator in the history of the country. A year ago, Russia was in 150th place. Even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which took place on February 24, 2022, the Kremlin significantly increased its pressure on independent media and journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders.
“More than a hundred journalists and entire editorial offices were declared “foreign agents” in 2021, many were forced to stop working because of this,” the authors of the report recall, citing the liquidation of the Ekho Moskvy radio station, the termination of the TV channel Dozhd and ” Novaya Gazeta, edited by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov.