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Russia continues imposing counter-sanctions in response to actions of Western states

On March 4th, 2022, RF President Vladimir Putin imposed further measures in response to sanctions enforced on the RF by Western states. One additional measure involves the implementation of administrative and criminal liability for the dissemination of false information. On this day, the Russian President signed two bills creating amendments to the Code on Administrative Offenses and the Russian Criminal Code. Regarding the latter, amendments have been made to impose criminal liability for a number of activities. One of these involves the public dissemination of deliberately false information regarding the use of the Armed Forces of the RF (“fake news” distribution). Another prohibition involves the engagement in public actions aimed at discrediting the usage of the Armed Forces of the RF (calls not to use them). An additional prohibited activity involves calling for the introduction of restrictive measures (sanctions) against the RF, its citizens, or legal entities. Consequences of such offenses include, among others, imprisonment and monetary fines. It should be said that criminal liability for the last two aforementioned offenses is only imposed if an individual was subject to administrative liability due to a similar action in the preceding year. Furthermore, the Code on Administrative Offenses has been amended to enforce administrative liability for the last two aforementioned offenses and certain other non-related clauses.

These were not the only measures introduced on March 4th. Another major measure involves restrictions on foreign persons. On this day, amendments were made to the Law “On Measures to Influence Persons Involved in Violations of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens of the RF“, which present the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the right to enforce restrictions on foreign persons. Specifically, these include: a prohibition on entry into the RF, seizure of financial and other assets on the RF territory, a ban on all transactions involving investments and property of sanctioned persons, a restriction on property disposal (located in the RF), suspension of a certain activity of legal entities controlled by such citizens (on the territory of the RF) and suspension of their powers in management bodies or on BOD of organizations registered in the RF. It should be noted, that these restrictions can apply to any foreign persons and may be imposed by a decision of “officials” (the law hasn’t clarified the grounds on which such restrictions may be imposed). More information on the measures adopted by the RF on March 4th, 2022 can be found here (in Russian).