The State Duma adopted in the third reading the law "On control over the activities of persons under foreign influence"

AK&M 29 June 2022 16:18

The State Duma adopted in the third reading the law "On control over the activities of persons under foreign influence." It will be effective from December 1, 2022. This is stated in the message of the State Duma.

"There has been interference throughout the entire existence of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and Of the Russian Federation. We still feel this interference today from the United States, England and other European states. Every country should defend itself if it thinks about its future," the Chairman of the State Duma stressed during the discussion of the law. Vyacheslav Volodin, quoted in the message.

A foreign agent, in accordance with the law, is a person who has received support from abroad or is under foreign influence and is engaged in Russia by political activity, purposeful collection of information in the field of military, military-technical activities of the Russian Federation or distribution of messages and materials to an unlimited number of persons.

Foreign agents may be recognized as: a Russian or foreign legal entity, regardless of its organizational and legal form; a public association operating without the formation of a legal entity, another association of persons, a foreign structure without the formation of a legal entity; an individual, regardless of his citizenship.

Foreign influence is considered to be "the provision of support to a person by a foreign source or the exertion of influence on a person, including through coercion, persuasion or other means." 

Support means the provision of funds or other property to a person by a foreign source, as well as the provision of organizational, methodological, scientific, technical or other assistance. The Ministry of Justice will establish clear criteria for what exactly will be considered foreign influence, including in other forms, noted Vasily Piskarev.

Foreign sources can be both foreign states and organizations — including international ones, structures without the formation of a legal entity — and citizens of other countries, as well as Russian legal entities and citizens already receiving foreign funding or support.

The Law also provides for a list of persons who cannot be recognized as foreign agents. Among them: public authorities of the Russian Federation, state-owned companies and state corporations, as well as persons controlled by them; religious organizations; political parties; employers' associations, chambers of commerce and industry.

Also, members of international organizations who have come to Russia to perform official duties will not be recognized as a foreign agent.

Foreign agents are obliged to report the existence of such a status to their employees and public authorities, to which they apply, lobbying their interests. They are also required to label the materials they produce.

In addition, foreign agents will not be able to: carry out educational activities in relation to minors or pedagogical activities in state and municipal educational organizations; produce information products for minors; take part in the procurement of goods, works and services to meet state and municipal needs; receive state financial support, including in the implementation of creative activities; carry out operation of significant objects of critical information infrastructure and activities to ensure its security; participate as an expert in conducting state environmental expertise.

Foreign agents will not be able to work in the state or municipal service, be members of election commissions, act as organizers of public events. Also, they will not be able to invest in strategic enterprises in To use the simplified taxation system, to make donations to the election funds of candidates and political parties.

The Ministry of Justice will maintain a unified register of foreign agents, as well as a unified register of individuals affiliated with them. The latter will include founders, managers, members, participants or employees of an organization declared by a foreign agent. Individuals affiliated with foreign agents are not subject to the requirements and restrictions established for foreign agents.

A person acquires the status of a foreign agent from the day following the day of posting information about such a person in the register of foreign agents on the official website of the Ministry of Justice, and terminates from the day of exclusion of such information from the register.

In case of violations of the activities of a foreign agent, the authorized body will now be obliged to issue an order to eliminate them, and this should take at least a month. The requirements for the form and procedure for posting warnings about the distribution of materials by foreign agents, according to the amendments, will be established by the Government of the Russian Federation.

In addition, violation of the legislation on foreign agents entails administrative, criminal and other liability in accordance with the established procedure.

The Law establishes the grounds for excluding a non-profit organization from the register of foreign agents. To do this, it must either stop receiving funds from foreign sources, or stop political activity or fulfill both of these conditions simultaneously. In such cases, the organization is excluded from the register.

For individuals included in the register for the first time, a simplified procedure for exiting it is provided. Such an individual has the right to submit an application in a free form and attach documents confirming the termination of the circumstances that served as the basis for inclusion in the register. The decision on this application will be made by the Minister of Justice or his deputy.