Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed into law a bill strengthening the punishments for the misuse of state symbols and the unauthorized wearing of official uniforms and state awards.
The amendments to the relevant law stipulate that the symbols of nongovernmental organizations must not coincide with the state symbols of Russia and its regions. They also should differ from those of government bodies, the armed forces, international organizations and other states.
In line with the new legislation, the fines for misusing symbols such as the Russian flag or presidential seal increase from 1,500 rubles to 3,000 rubles ($50 to $100) for individuals, 4,000 rubles to 7,000 rubles for officials and from 85,000 rubles to 150,000 rubles for legal entities.
The legislation was approved by Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on May 7, and by the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, on May 13.
Traditionally in Russia any connection to the ruling bodies in the names and symbols of the companies or organizations enhances people's trust. In the 1990s, many commercial firms and organizations included government-related words in their names to attract customers and members.
MOSCOW, May 22 (RIA Novosti)