Russians want undesirable elements out

rrIn the wake of continuing sanctions and attempts by US and allies to corner Russia on all fronts, Russians have started talking about sending “undesirable foreign organizations” out of the country. Speaking on the subject in the Russian parliament, Aleksandr Tarnavskiy of the leftist Fair Russia Party and Anton Ishchenko of the nationalist LDPR party have demanded from the government the list of “undesirable foreign organizations” and also demanded to know the criminal responsibility for Russian citizens who assist the activities of these entities inside the country. The two MPs have also suggested a set of legislative amendments introducing the definition of an “undesirable foreign organization”.

The MPs claim that their aim is to prevent any potential for foreign groups to harm the ‘basic values of the Russian state.’ They also say that they see threat in organizations working on subjects like colour revolution as well as ethnic and religious issues. They said they want to give the Prosecutor General the power to recognize foreign or international organizations as undesirable. The decision must be based on information presented by the Interior Ministry and coordinated with the Foreign Ministry, the bill suggested.

Once the group is recognized “undesirable”, the authorities should freeze its accounts in Russian banks and impound any property on Russian territory. The organization should also be banned from opening offices, branches or affiliate companies in Russia, and barred from collecting donations or distributing propaganda. The bill also stipulates that individual foreign members of the banned groups should be officially banned from entering the country. The two MPs have also suggested code of conduct for Russian citizens dealing with such groups. They have suggested heavy fines or even imprisonment.

Earlier this month, the State Duma passed a bill that makes it illegal for all Russian political parties to receive sponsorship or enter business deals with NGOs with “foreign agent” status.