New regulations being drafted by Russia's interior ministry may require foreign visitors to sign a “loyalty agreement” upon entering the country.
This agreement would commit them to refraining from criticizing Moscow's actions in Ukraine and also forbid the making of positive statements about the LGBTQ community.
As Russia tightens control on dissent, especially in light of the upcoming 2024 presidential election, where President Vladimir Putin is expected to extend his rule, the loyalty
agreement aims to ensure compliance with Moscow's narrative.
According to state-run TASS news agency, citing the draft document, foreigners entering Russia would be bound to “comply with prohibitions established with the aim of protecting the national interests of Russia.”
The agreement specifies that foreign visitors must not engage in any activity that discredits the foreign and domestic state policy of the Russian Federation.
Additionally, it prohibits the sharing of public information about LGBTQ relationships in accordance with Russian legislation and mandates refraining from “distorting the historical truth” related to the Soviet role in World War II.
While the TASS report gives details of the proposed agreement, it doesn’t specify a timeline for when the bill will pass through the State Duma.
This move is part of a broader trend of increased control and restrictions on various forms of expression in Russia.
This suggestion might be also considered as tit for tat move following a decision by Latvian authorities to make citizens of Russia and Belarus fill in a questionnaire when entering the country on their views on Russian military aggression, the dismantling of Soviet monuments, and support for the Russian and/or Belarusian military.
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