Russia considers introducing criminal liability for companies observing Western sanctions

The Russian State Duma has drafted a bill denoting criminal liability, punishable by up to four years of imprisonment, for the implementation of sanctions by foreign states, as well as for assistance in establishing anti-Russian sanctions, in the territory of the Russian Federation, Interfax reports.

"This draft law, which proposes changes to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, will be officially introduced to the State Duma on Monday morning; its authors - the speakers for both chambers of the Federal Assembly, Vyacheslav Volodin (State Duma) and Valentyna Matvienko (Federation Council) – are leaders of all four factions,” a source in the State Duma told reporters.

According to Interfax’s source, the draft law would supplement the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation with a new article on the "restriction or refusal to perform ordinary business operations and transactions with the purpose of assistance in the implementation of restrictive measures imposed by a foreign state, an alliance of foreign states or an international organization."

According to the source, refusal to carry out operations and transactions in compliance with sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation will be punished with a fine of up to 600,000 rubles ($9,691 USD), restrictions, or imprisonment for a term of up to four years.

In addition, the article includes provisions on recommendations and the transfer of information "which led or could lead" to the imposition of anti-Russian sanctions.

The legislation proposed to introduce a fine of up to 500 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens for such actions, and/or the restriction or deprivation of liberty for a term up to three years.

The first reading of the bill "On measures to counteract the unfriendly actions of the United States and / or other states" is scheduled for May 15; the first reading of amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation will take place on May 17. On May 22, both draft laws will be considered in the second reading. On May 24, a third reading of these legislative initiatives is planned, said State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

  Russia, State Duma, Sanctions