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Lawmakers move forward with legislation that would ban ‘threatening’ foreign citizens from entering Russia

Source: RBC

A State Duma committee has approved draft legislation that would empower the parliament to ban certain foreigners from entering Russia. The ban would apply to foreign citizens who have committed acts “threatening Russia’s national interests or infringing on the interests of Russian individuals, society, state, or nationally recognized historical, spiritual, cultural, or social values.”

The bill was first submitted to the State Duma in November 2014, when Russia’s federal government responded negatively, pointing out that the restrictions exceed the parliament’s constitutional powers. When recommending the legislation this week, the Duma committee said the government should weigh in again, to help finalize the law.

The Committee on Legislation co-authored the bill. The steering committee for the law, the Committee on Developing Civil Society, has yet to vote on the legislation.

The effort to empower the State Duma to ban certain “threatening” foreigners was designed as a retaliatory measure against the U.S. Congress, which passed the so-called Magnitsky Act in 2012, which prohibits a list of Russian officials allegedly responsible for the death of Sergey Magnitsky from entering the U.S. and using its banking system.

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