Russian Senators want black book on foreign interference

The Russian Federation Council wants to include charities “which are agents of foreign influence” in a “black book”




Senators want to introduce regulations to counter “external interference in Russian affairs”, as well as reviewing all approved draft legislation to ensure it reflects national interests.


According to Izvestia, the Federation Council’s Interim Commission on State Sovereignty and Prevention of Interference in the Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation held its first meeting on 27 June.


Andrey Klimov, Head of the Commission, believes the time has come to compile a “black book on foreign interference” to which State and private charities as well as countries should be added. Klimov said that the Duma’s Upper House knows the full facts of attempts to exert external influence that have been made “through foreign agents and embassies”.


The Commission has yet to determine criteria by which such interference will be judged. The senators will almost certainly discuss the issue at forthcoming Commission meetings.


According to figures quoted by Konstantin Kosachev, Head of the Federation’s International Affairs Committee, foreign financial support to NGOs operating in Russia increased from 36 to more than 90 billion roubles between 2013-2015, while the number of such NGOs went up from 2,500 to 4,500. Izvestia reported that foreign non-profit bodies operating in Russia in 2017 had “officially declared having received 7 billion roubles in external funding”.


A “black book” is needed in order to draw up regulations to protect the country’s interests, say senators. The development of proposals to strengthen Russian legislation will be undertaken by a working group. A second group will monitor whether or not foreign and national laws act against Russia’s sovereignty, while a third will be set up on the “protection of Russian sovereign territory”.


Russian Business Consulting (RBC) reports that the senators plan to involve external experts in their efforts to protect the country’s national interests. For instance, they plan to meet representatives from the Federal Financial Monitoring Service to discuss foreign funding which is given to a number of Russian companies and media outlets.


“This is an irrational demand to encourage stereotypes of Russian jucheisation (isolationism – RBC), together with a rational competition to be the first to second-guess the country’s top officials”, said Mikhail Vinogradov, Head of the St Petersburg Policy Foundation as reported in“Izvestia”.



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