The lower house of the Russian parliament, in the third and final reading, passed a bill on counter sanctions.
In the final version of the bill, there is no mention of specific areas to which sanctions may apply. The law enables the government to ban the importation of any product or raw material, with the exception of necessary goods that are not produced in Russia.
Additionally, restrictions cannot be applied to goods imported for personal use, both by Russians and foreigners.
The bill concerning counteraction against unfriendly actions of the United States and (or) other foreign states was submitted to the State Duma in April 2018. The bill was developed after the U.S. expanded its sanctions list, including Russian businessmen Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg.
In the first version of the bill, the areas in which the government can impose retaliatory sanctions were listed. The possibility of banning the import of drugs and medical equipment was suggested. By the second reading, the mention of any specific areas had been removed from the bill.
At the same time, the State Duma also considered and passed a bill at the first reading that establishes criminal responsibility for observing the sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation and for actions that contribute to enacting them. There was much criticism surrounding the bill, and the second reading was cancelled.
On April 6, the United States imposed sanctions against Russians from the so-called “Kremlin list,” a list of businessmen and officials close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.