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Billionaire Oleg Deripaska calls for criminalizing the incitement of sanctions against Russia

In a statement published in Telegram, Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska has suggested introducing criminal liability for people who incite sanctions against Russian citizens and companies.

In Deripaska’s opinion, such actions should be qualified “as treason against the motherland, with the corresponding criminal consequences.” Though he didn’t specify a particular punishment, according to the Russian Criminal Code, treason is punishable by between 12 and 20 years in prison (under article 275).

In April 2018, the United States imposed sanctions against Oleg Deripaska and three of his companies: En+, UC Rusal, and EuroSibEnergo. In January 2019, the U.S. lifted the sanctions against the companies (but not the personal sanctions against the Russian billionaire) after Deripaska relinquished control over the businesses. That said, at the end of 2020 European officials stated that Deripaska has maintained significant influence over Rusal and its parent company En+ (spokespeople for both companies have denied these allegations). 

Also in 2018, a draft law was introduced to the Russian State Duma that proposed introducing criminal liability for compliance with sanctions imposed upon Russia, as well as for actions that facilitated the introduction of sanctions. The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, as well as the Presidential Human Rights Council, opposed the bill. The draft law wasn’t adopted.

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