New draft law seeks to ban ‘foreign agents’ from holding public office in Russia
Russian lawmakers and senators have submitted a draft law to the State Duma, which proposes banning individuals deemed “foreign agents” from holding state and municipal offices. The bill was published on the State Duma’s website on Wednesday, November 18.
The document also suggests denying people recognized as foreign agents access to state secrets.
In addition, the draft law expands the list of individuals considered foreign agents to include Russian citizens and foreigners who receive foreign funding and “participate in political activities or gather information on Russia’s military activities.”
Since 2017, Russia’s Justice Ministry has had the ability by law to label media outlets that receive funding from abroad as foreign agents. In December 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing the Justice Ministry to slap this designation on individuals with income from abroad for their involvement in creating or disseminating “foreign agent” news media.
At the beginning of 2020, Putin instructed the Attorney General’s Office to monitor the application of this law.