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Russian government submits bill on expanding ‘Dima Yakovlev law’ to enable sanctions against any foreign nationals

The Russian government has submitted a bill to the State Duma, which would allow for imposing visa and financial sanctions against any foreign citizens and stateless persons.

The proposed amendments would be made to the “Dima Yakovlev law,” which currently only allows for imposing sanctions against U.S. citizens. In an explanatory note, the authors of the bill underscored that it’s “not just U.S. citizens” who are responsible for “violating the rights of Russian citizens.”

According to the “Dima Yakovlev law, ” a U.S. national come under Russian sanctions for:

  • Involvement in “violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms”;
  • Committing a crime against Russian citizens abroad;
  • Helping people who committed crimes against Russian citizens to evade liability;
  • Involvement in the abduction and illegal imprisonment of Russian citizens;
  • Imposing “unfounded and unfair sentences” against Russian citizens;
  • Carrying out the “unjustified legal persecution” of Russian citizens;
  • Making “unreasonable decisions that violate the rights and legitimate interests” of Russian citizens and organizations.

The sanctions include a ban on entry into the Russian Federation, the seizure of assets, and a ban on any property and investment transactions with people who come under these restrictions. 

The authors of the bill noted that the proposed changes do not prohibit foreign nationals from adopting Russian children. Though this ban “will continue to apply only to U.S. citizens” due to Washington’s “aggressive sanctions policy,” the explanatory note said.

Amendments to the Dima Yakovlev law adopted in 2020 allow the Russian authorities to label almost any Russian citizen a “foreign agent.”

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