Russia's State Duma adopts revised legislation allowing the government to impose sweeping new ‘counter-sanctions’

Meduza
13:15, 17 may 2018

On Thursday, State Duma deputies adopted a much revised second reading of legislation authorizing the federal government to impose “counter-sanctions” on any “products and (or) raw materials” imported by organizations based in “unfriendly foreign states.”

The amended second reading removes language specifying which goods and raw materials the government can ban, leaving it up to federal officials. The legislation does, however, prohibit sanctions on vital goods not otherwise available in Russia and doesn’t apply to goods brought into Russia by private individuals.

Medical care groups have expressed concerns that the government will nonetheless ban pharmaceuticals that aren’t made anywhere but America. Earlier this week, several nonprofit organizations addressed a joint letter to the speaker of the State Duma and the chairperson of the Federation Council, asking lawmakers to exclude medical supplies explicitly from the proposed counter-sanctions.

The letter reportedly warns that a new boycott could affect medicines not technically registered in Russia but vital to patients nonetheless, as well as different medical equipment and supplies used by hospices and clinics that are otherwise unavailable in Russia.