A Russian lawmaker has proposed to introduce the death penalty for foreigners guilty of interference in the country’s electoral process, less than two weeks before presidential elections scheduled for March 18.
The Kremlin placed a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, enshrined in Russian law, over two decades ago to gain membership in the Council of Europe. Last month, 13 Russians were indicted by a special prosecutor for a widespread online influence campaign intended to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
“We should give 25 years [for interference in Russian elections]. Or the death penalty, because it’s a [call to] change the constitutional order,” State Duma deputy Leonid Kalashnikov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Monday.
“That’s the worst crime that there is, other than rape and murder,” he added.
His comments came on the day that two senior Foreign Ministry and Federation Council officials claimed to have evidence that the United States was attempting to interfere in Russia’s presidential elections.