Top Russian official ‘unaware’ of plans for new ‘foreign agent’ law

Kremlin and River

(Interfax – October 18, 2017)

The first deputy head of Russia’s presidential administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, has said he is unaware of any forthcoming Russian legislation which would designate individuals with the status of “foreign agents”.

“I don’t know anything about this,” Kiriyenko said on 18 October when asked about the matter.

Media reports on 9 October, citing a source, said: “Taking account of the limitations of existing legislation on foreign agents, a proposal will be put forward to broaden the criteria regarding the list of organisations falling under this category – including the media – and also the possible recognition [designation] of individuals receiving foreign financing as foreign agents.”

It was also previously reported that a Federation Council commission on protection of state sovereignty had proposed consideration of measures to respond to the activities of individuals in regard to their participation in external interference in Russia’s affairs.

A preliminary report presented by the Federation Council commission recommended, in particular, “looking from a legislative viewpoint at the phenomenon of participation in the process of external interference in Russia’s internal affairs by individuals who are not formally members of Russian organisations recognised as illegitimate in Russia, but carrying out undesirable activity, and to prepare proposals for legislative responses regarding this.”