Go along with US sanctions, and you’ll face jail — that’s the warning Russian lawmakers have for those who adhere to or facilitate sanctions against the country.
Russian lawmakers have drafted a bill that would make it a criminal offence punishable by up to four years in jail to observe sanctions imposed by the United States or other foreign countries, Russian news agencies reported on Tuesday.
Washington imposed sweeping sanctions on some of Russia’s biggest companies, businessmen and officials on April 6 and Russia has since been considering how to respond.
On April 13, a bill on countering “unfriendly actions by the United States and other foreign states” was submitted to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament. The first draft of the bill, which is co-sponsored by leaders of all four parties in the legislature, was adopted on Tuesday. Pending Putin’s approval, the retaliatory sanction legislation would give the government and the president extensive powers for future counter-sanctions.
The legislation envisages jailing any individual or the representatives of any legal entity in Russia who refuses to supply services or do business with a Russian citizen citing US or other foreign sanctions. Such a crime would be punishable by up to four years in jail or other limits on an individual’s freedom or by a fine of up to 600,000 rubles ($9,730 or €8,133), Russian news agencies reported.
The same legislation, which faces two more votes in the Duma and one in the upper house before it goes to Putin for his signature, would also make it a criminal offence for Russian citizens to help foreign governments sanction Russia by providing advice or information. That offence would be punishable by up to three years in jail or other restrictions on an individual’s freedom or by a fine of up to 500,000 rubles, Russian news agencies said.
This news brief contains material from the following sources: Deutsche Welle