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Russian Lawmaker Acts to Ban Foreigners From Street Demos

A Russian parliamentarian submitted a bill Thursday that would bar foreigners from taking part in political protests across the country.

Yevgeny Fyodorov, a State Duma deputy representing the ruling United Russia party, told The Moscow Times that the proposed legislation would prevent "provocations" from taking place during political protests.

"Why should foreigners be allowed to take part in protests if they aren't allowed to vote?" Fyodorov said. "We have seen that methods used to overthrow governments have come from groups of provocateurs."

Fyodorov's bill echoes President Vladimir Putin's recent statements about the threat of foreign-sponsored so-called "color revolutions" in Russia. Last week, Putin urged Interior Ministry officials to foil the sources of color revolutions, whose aim he said was "to provoke civil conflict and strike a blow at our country's constitutional foundations," according to the Kremlin's website.

At a Security Council meeting in November, Putin said that color revolutions that have occurred in some post-Soviet republics should serve as a "lesson and warning," and that they should be prevented at all costs.

Fyodorov suggested that if his bill is adopted, law enforcement assigned to ensure security at political protests would be allowed to turn away individuals unable to produce a Russian passport.

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