The State Duma introduced laws providing for fines and imprisonment up to ten years for calls and attempts to alienate the country’s territory
KIEV – Bills have been submitted to the State Duma of Russia that provide for up to ten years in prison for attempts to alienate the territory of the state, or administrative fines for calls for such actions.
According to the website of the State Duma of Russia on July 15, these bills were introduced by the chairman of the Committee on State Construction and Legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov.
Pavel Krasheninnikov recalled that on July 14, the State Duma adopted in the first reading a package bill clarifying the concept of extremist activity, to which the current legislation refers to the violation of the integrity of the Russian Federation.
“The bill specifies that extremism includes, among other things, the alienation of a part of the territory of the Russian Federation (with the exception of work on defining borders with neighboring states). Thus, the terminology of the Law “On Countering Extremist Activity” will be brought in line with the updated constitution, “the message says..
Increased fines in the bills are provided for cases when public appeals are made using the media, the Internet, or other information and telecommunication or electronic networks, according to the press service of the Committee on State Building and Legislation.
For citizens, the fine will be from seventy thousand to one hundred thousand rubles, for officials – from one hundred thousand to two hundred thousand rubles, for legal entities – from three hundred thousand to five hundred thousand rubles, TASS notes.
The Criminal Code is also supplemented by a new article 280.2 “Violation of the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation”. It provides for criminal liability in the form of imprisonment for a term of six to ten years for the alienation of part of the territory of Russia.
Chairman of the State Duma of Russia Viacheslav Volodin on July 14 spoke about the “punishment for calls for Crimea” for Ukrainian politicians.
“The statements they will make about Crimea will be punished under the laws of the Russian Federation. We will be able to demand extradition to our country. On the other hand, these are questions that will also be presented in the future. Therefore, many hotheads may cool off after we adopt the norms of this law. And they will understand that this is being punished very seriously, “said the Chairman of the State Duma of Russia during the discussion of the bill on the protection of territorial integrity..
The site Crimea.Realii reports the words of Vyacheslav Volodin, who noted that “responsibility also appears for American politicians” for statements about Crimea.
“If they come to our side, they can be arrested. And you can demand their extradition here “, – said the speaker of the State Duma.
Recall that on March 16, 2014, on the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, a “referendum” unrecognized by most countries of the world was held on the status of the peninsula, as a result of which Russia included Crimea in its composition.
The Crimea.Realii project notes that neither Ukraine, nor the European Union, nor the United States recognized the results of the vote in the “referendum.” Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 18, 2014 announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
Motivation and punishment
Political scientist Andrey Okara believes that Russian lawmakers had a motivation to adopt such changes to the constitution.
“They are motivated by the fact that if they take responsibility for calling for the alienation of Russian territory in the constitution and other regulations, then this will somehow create fear in this area and create some kind of criminal cases regarding Crimea. Moreover, this law contains a very important nuance about demarcation, delimitation and redemarcation of borders, ”Andrei Okara says to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America.
He notes that these changes to the Russian Basic Law can also be viewed through the prism of clarifying borders, for example, in the Far East..
“Regarding what happened recently on the Amur, thanks to the redemarking procedure, the border in some places was clarified in favor of China – and if the two banks of the Amur were once Russian, now one bank is Chinese and China, according to press reports and social networks, is pumping this river, and it has become shallow, ”emphasizes Andrei Okara.
The political scientist also argues that an important point is the legislative understanding of the “accuracy” of the established signs on the state border..
“This is very important, we remember that the Russian-Ukrainian tension began back in 2003, when there was a question around the Tuzla Spit, where was the border on the map, and on the ground. The situation in the Kerch Strait heated up to a possible military confrontation, the parties argued, among other things, about the geographical object – whether the island is “Tuzla spit” or is it Tuzla spit, “emphasizes Andrei Okara.
According to him, those who do not recognize the Russian status of Crimea can appeal to the existing constitution of Russia..
“The Constitution of the Russian Federation is so constructed that the first part cannot be changed. And while it contains Article 15, Clause 4, which says that if the norm of domestic legislation and an international treaty diverges, then the norm of an international treaty is in effect, including treaties that Russia entered into regarding the recognition of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. All these agreements, in accordance with article 15, paragraph 4, are priority in relation to domestic legislation, ”says Andriy Okara.
Ukraine will fight for Crimea
International political scientist Anton Kuchukhidze notes that the Russian constitutional amendments concerning Crimea will not in any way affect the Ukrainian process of the struggle for the peninsula.
“The current foreign policy team is looking for ways to intensify progress not only on the negotiations on Donbass, but also on Crimea. This issue is being raised in Ukraine’s foreign policy and Russian changes will not affect Ukraine in any way. Our country will continue to fight for Crimea within the framework of international law and diplomacy. Remember the Crimean Declaration of Mike Pompeo, the resolution of the UN General Assembly in March 2014 on the non-recognition of the annexation – the whole world supports us in this, ”Anton Kuchukhidze says to the Voice of America correspondent.
The political scientist believes that amendments to the constitution and responsibility for non-recognition, for example, the annexation of Crimea, should be considered as part of the Russian domestic political context..
“This is propaganda, the essence of which is to show and support the image of the current head of state as a“ collector of Russian lands ”. From the standpoint of international law, these Russian changes do not affect anything. There is a UN charter, where the principle of the inviolability of borders is spelled out. Any illegal annexation is a violation of international law, and this is not only from the position of violation of the UN Charter, but also from the position of the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, ”notes Anton Kuchukhidze.
Border disputes with Russia, the political scientist reminds, not only with Ukraine, but also with China and Japan.
“Japan will never give up its right to the South Kuril Islands, there is a discussion with China regarding the borders. As for Ukraine, let us recall the Paris summit of the Normandy Four in December 2019, where President Zelensky said during the final press conference that Crimea is Ukraine, to which the Russian leader neatly reacted that Russia and Ukraine have different positions, ” emphasizes Anton Kuchukhidze.