MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian business lobby groups voiced opposition on Wednesday to a draft law that would make it a crime to comply with sanctions imposed by the United States or other countries.
The United States last month imposed sanctions on some of Russia’s biggest companies and businessmen, striking at allies of President Vladimir Putin to punish Moscow for alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other “malign activities”.
Retaliation - Lawmakers - Reading - Bill - Crime
In retaliation, Russian lawmakers in a first reading approved a bill making it a crime punishable by up to four years in jail to refuse to supply services or do business with a Russian citizen, citing U.S. or other sanctions.
The bill gets a second reading on Thursday.
Bill - Risks - Prosecution - Citizens - Cooperation
“This bill creates risks of unreasonable criminal prosecution of Russian and foreign citizens, of restricted cooperation with foreign investors, reduction of interest in investing in Russia from foreign companies and the business climate worsening,” the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs said in a statement.
Forcing Russian economic entities to act in contravention of U.S. sanctions may lead to an extension of secondary sanctions to these entities, limit their ability to work in the global market and further harm Russia’s economy, it added.
Draft - Law - Concerns - Executives - Groups
The draft law has also raised concerns among some other Russian executives and groups, including the Association of European Businesses.
“We are afraid that the European businesses may be caught between...
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One of the countries we liberated was Russia, too bad it seems to have cost us our liberty.