Duma to Tighten Rules for Rallies This Week

A bill tightening rules for public gatherings and hiking fines for unsanctioned rallies will be passed by the lower chamber of the Russian parliament on Tuesday, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said.

The legislation will likely be approved in both the crucial second and final third readings on the same day, Naryshkin said.

New legislation introduces fines of up to 600,000 rubles ($18,000) for violations during rallies and bans any unsanctioned public gatherings if they disturb public peace or hinder traffic.

It will have to be passed by Russia’s Federation Council and then approved by the president before coming into force. The Federation Council said on Monday it would debate the bill on June 6.

The bill was introduced after an opposition rally on May 6, which ended in protesters clashing with police, and is being fast-tracked ahead of a new mass rally planned for Russia Day on June 12.

The updated Russian legislation on rallies must comply with European legislative standards regulating public events, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday, speaking at a press conference after an EU-Russia summit in St. Petersburg. He did not elaborate.


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