Russian ex-president Medvedev calls for tougher 'foreign agent' law

Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council Dmitry Medvedev attends a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

(Reuters) - Former president Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday called for Russia to toughen its laws on "foreign agents" and prosecute individuals working for the interests of foreign states.

Russia has legislation that labels groups and individuals as foreign agents - a term that carries Soviet-era connotations of spying - if they receive foreign funding to engage in what the authorities say is political activity.

Dozens of Kremlin critics have been listed as foreign agents, including journalists and rights activists, and many have fled abroad.

Medvedev, who now serves as deputy head of Russia's security council, said the enforcement of the "foreign agents" legislation needed to be stepped up as Moscow carries out its military intervention in Ukraine and finds itself under unprecedented sanctions from the West.

"If they (foreign agents) are carrying out activities aimed against our country -- especially during this tough period -- and receive money for it from our enemies, our response must be quick and harsh," Medvedev wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

He added that the legislation should more precisely classify "foreign agents" and impose stricter consequences for their offences.

At present, those listed are subject to stringent financial reporting requirements and have to preface anything they publish, including social media posts, with a disclaimer stating that they are foreign agents.

Lawmakers said last month they planned to submit amendments to the law to add more restrictions, including on investing in strategic industries and working with children.

Medvedev also said he supported legislative initiatives to criminally prosecute "people working in the interest of a foreign state."

His post began and ended with a reference to a 1960s Soviet television series set during the Russian Civil War of the 1920s, in which Medvedev noted that the hero was shot as a spy.

(Reporting by Reuters)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

Colombia bull-running where stand collapse killed 4 people under investigation
Guatemalan president arrives in U.S. for visit after snubbing summit
What happens to Italian tycoon Del Vecchio's $29 billion fortune?
African Union should lead Tigray peace talks, Ethiopia's ruling party says
Macron tells Biden that UAE, Saudi can barely raise oil output
BRICS embarking on new journey of digital economy cooperation: MOC
Zimbabwe to import maize from Zambia, Malawi to plug grain shortfall
Nigeria records increasing trend of drug abuse: vice president
Canada to impose additional sanctions, ban tech export to Russia -statement
BiH inflation hits all-time high in May

Others Also Read