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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

Dmitry Medvedev Kremlin Press Service

Criminal compliance

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev backs the idea of making it a criminal offense for Russians to observe sanctions imposed by the United States.

“No one should have the right to observe these American sanctions for fear of having to take administrative or criminal liability,” Medvedev said in a state television interview when asked about a State Duma proposal to criminalize observance of U.S. measures.

Korea talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in that Russia is ready to facilitate cooperation between North and South Korea, the Kremlin said Sunday.

Moon informed Putin of the outcome of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, and proposed a joint study on trilateral cooperation over rail, gas and power infrastructure.

Banned Baltics

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that it had banned a list of Lithuanian politicians, lawmakers and political analysts from entering Russia.

The ministry said the action was in retaliation for Lithuania’s ban of dozens of Russian nationals from entering over alleged human rights violations and money laundering.

Inconvenient doc

St. Petersburg police are seeking the whereabouts in the United States of Dozhd TV news channel editor Roman Badanin in connection with a film linking a Russian businessman suspected of mafia connections with President Vladimir Putin.

Police opened a slander investigation against the liberal-leaning channel late last year for airing a documentary claiming that businessman Ilya Traber is “the only living kingpin who Putin has admitted to knowing.”

Radicals in Iraq

Iraq has sentenced 19 Russian women to life in prison for joining Islamic State in the latest wave of heavy verdicts against foreigners with jihadist ties.

“I did not know we were in Iraq,” Agence France Presse quoted one of the accused as saying.

Paper planes

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov has called on Muscovites to protest in support of his messaging app on Monday, two weeks after the Russian state regulator began enforcing a court-ordered ban.

“Your active participation could change the course of history,” Durov wrote on his newly-launched Russian-language Telegram channel.

HIV blacklist

State communications regulator Roskomnadzor has blacklisted LGBT news website Parniplus.com for its alleged dissemination of “information that promotes non-traditional sexual relations.”

“A consistent fight can be noticed against resources that inform about the HIV epidemic in Russia and report the need for HIV prevention,” the website reported Sunday.

Airport dresscode

Days after Moscow region lawmakers enacted strict rules for visitors and passengers of the city’s three major airports, the regional transport administration has clarified that ticket holders will be allowed to sleep on benches, sit on the floor, and ride trolleys.

 A Moscow regional Duma transport infrastructure deputy has voiced confidence that visiting fans for the 2018 FIFA World Cup will not be wearing “staining clothes,” which were also banned as part of new sweeping changes at Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Zhukovsky airports.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

Islamic State is a banned terrorist organization in Russia.

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