Russia's parliament passes sweeping wartime economic controls


Russian lawmakers attend a session of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, in Moscow, Russia July 5, 2022. Russian State Duma/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Russia's parliament on Wednesday rushed through two bills imposing strict controls on the economy, requiring businesses to supply goods to the armed forces and obliging employees at some firms to work overtime.

Once signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, the bills will allow the government to introduce "special economic measures" during what the Kremlin calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine.

"In the context of operations carried out by the armed forces of the Russian Federation outside of Russia, including on the territory of Ukraine, there is a need to repair weapons, military equipment and provide the armed forces with material and technical means," says an explanatory note to one of the bills.

The bills were submitted to the lower house State Duma by the Kremlin on June 30. After being passed on their first reading, Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said further discussion would be held behind closed doors due to national security.

According to one of the drafts, the state will be able to purchase goods and services necessary for conducting military special operations from a single supplier without the need for a competitive tender.

In addition, businesses will be required by law to supply goods and services necessary for conducting the "special military operation" to the armed forces.

A second bill mandates the government to require employees of certain enterprises producing goods and services needed by the Russian military to work overtime.

The government may also oblige some employees to work at night, on weekends or during holidays, in return for increased wages.

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by John Stonestreet)

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