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    Russian Federation Council Adopts Creation of State Sovereignty Protection Board

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    The Federation Council, Russian parliament’s upper house, on Wednesday adopted a recommendation to establish a temporary commission to protect state sovereignty and prevent foreign interference into Russia's internal affairs amid enhanced attempts of Western governments to affect public opinion in Russia, which have been examined by the Council.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to recommendations adopted by the Federation Council, nations in the West have boosted their attempts to influence Russia's internal politics using numerous political, economic and media resources, including social networks.

    Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Federation Council, said that the United States and its NATO allies also tried to affect the presidential election campaign in Russia. The chairman continued by noting that until the election in March 2018, Russia would "face very active and consistent attempts by the United States and its NATO allies to influence the course of this election campaign."

    Moreover, the West has created and continues to improve a legislative, financial and propaganda infrastructure "aimed at making attempts to directly pressure the leadership of the Russian Federation, provoke internal political destabilization, support the opposition, resist to Russia's foreign policy, including in the information area," the senior lawmaker said.

    According the upper house, a number of Western states, whether individually or via inter-state institutions such as the European Union and NATO, increase their financing of the activity of those organizations which spread propaganda in Russia and Russian-speaking countries. Such nations also create special departments in their armed forces and special services that are engaged in the production of anti-Russian content, the Federation Council stressed.

    According to the document, strategies to counteract Russian information policy and to interfere into Russia's internal affairs are being implemented at the legislative level.

    In 2012, a total of 458 Russian-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) received $70 million in foreign financial assistance, while in 2014, 4,108 NGOs received foreign assistance worth $1.2 billion. In 2015, socially and politically oriented NGOs in Russia received $1.4 billion of financial assistance from the United States alone, the document said.

    Recommendations for Departments

    The Federation Council has recommended the Russian government to carry out the analysis of legislation and law enforcement practices to counteract anti-Russian activities. The recommendations from the upper house also stated that a comparative analysis of legislation in other countries in the most vulnerable areas, such as elections, political parties, NGOs, business, media, social networks, should be conducted in order to amend Russia's legislation accordingly to protect the country from internal interference.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry, in cooperation with relevant agencies and mass media involved in foreign broadcast, should enhance the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states on all international platforms. The ministry should also consolidate and develop this principle in resolutions of international organizations, primarily in integration structures with Russian participation.

    Russia's Justice Ministry, Federal Financial Monitoring Service, Federal Security Service, General Prosecutor's Office should consider the advantages of amending the legislation in terms of providing the possibility of implementing programs and carrying out the financing of NGOs only through the structural units of a foreign organization established in Russia.

    In addition, the Council recommends the ministries to study the possibility of expanding the grounds for the recognition of a NGO as an undesirable organization for its harmful activity for Russia's economic and political interests.

    According to Kosachev, the commission on state sovereignty protection may hold two meetings until the end of the spring session of the upper house of the Russian parliament, and the first meeting is recommended to be held on June 27.


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