Russia's ruling party proposes multi-million-ruble fines for election violations days after accusations against non-Russian outlets, including ‘Meduza’
Adalbi Shkhagoshev, the deputy leader of the United Russia faction in the State Duma, has drafted an amendment multiplying the fines that can be assigned for violating Russia’s “day of silence” law. That law bans materials advocating for or against any candidate beginning the day before an election. It also bans the publication of any election results before polls have closed. Shkhagoshev told Izvestia and Interfax about his plans to add harsher penalties to the law several days after a Duma commission announced that it would investigate Meduza and other media sources based outside Russia for allegedly disturbing the “day of silence.”
Shkhagoshev told journalists that the fines for such violations, which currently stand at an administrative penalty of 20,000 – 100,000 rubles ($314 – $1,569), should be increased to 2.3 – 3.5 million rubles ($36,087 – $54,915) or 4 percent of a company’s profits. The United Russia deputy pointed to companies like Google that make more than 100 billion dollars per year to argue that only increased fines would be able to “discipline global media giants.”
The proposed amendment will be brought before the United Russia faction before it is considered by the full Duma, Shkhagoshev said.