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Russia Moves to Ban Lawmakers From Unauthorized Foreign Travel

duma.gov.ru

A bill introduced to Russia's lower-house State Duma Thursday outlining a formal ban against unauthorized foreign travel for Russian senators and deputies has been passed.

The Kremlin said in April that Russian officials face various restrictions on their ability to travel abroad. Reuters reported at the time that Russian officials across state bodies faced “chaotic” travel rules out of fears of entrapment, disclosure of state secrets or extradition to the West.

Moscow reportedly introduced an informal travel ban for officials in 2022, after Russia invaded Ukraine and its ties with the West deteriorated to the lowest point since the Cold War.

The Duma voted unanimously to strip Russian deputies and senators of their mandates if they failed to coordinate their foreign travels except for business trips.

“If they’re traveling to Lake Baikal, we’ll support that. Or the Volga, we’d be glad. But if it’s the Maldives or Bali, then, nothing personal, [but] we understand that will be wrong toward the country and our voters,” said Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

He said that after the amendments to Russia’s law on the status of deputies and senators come into force “fewer people would want to get elected and relax at the state’s expense.”

The bill will become law signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Volodin also ordered the Duma’s Security Committee to draft rules on foreign travel for ex-lawmakers who have not had their mandates for “several years.”

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