Russia: lighter penalties for some CSOs

Senators have approved a law on relaxing administrative penalties for CSOs.

CSOs can now be issued with warnings rather than fines.

2 December, 2020

On 2 December, the Council of the Federation approved a bill according to which a CSO  that has committed a first administrative offence can expect to receive a warning rather than a fine. This is in line with commercial organisations.

The bill relaxing administrative penalties for CSOs was submitted to the Duma back in 2018, and was adopted at first reading in the Summer of 2019.

According to the accompanying documents, the law “will ensure a balance between respect for the rights and interests of non-profit organisations, including those in the social sphere, and ensuring the security of the state and society.”

A warning can be issued instead of a fine for a first offence provided there was no harm to life, health, the environment, state security or property.

The law also specifies situations in which warning will not be applicable, e.g. if a CSO disseminates support for extremist and terrorist activities, or endorses illegal symbols or materials. CSOs on the register of foreign agents are not guaranteed to receive a warning if they have failed to provide relevant information, violated the legal processes for their activities, or begun operating after suspension.


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