06MOSCOW12232, PROPOSED ECONOMIC SANCTIONS BILL LIKELY TO PASS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW12232 2006-11-02 14:19 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7639
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #2232/01 3061419
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021419Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4836
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 012232 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON RS
SUBJECT: PROPOSED ECONOMIC SANCTIONS BILL LIKELY TO PASS 
DUMA 
 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. (U) On October 27, United Russia Duma Deputies submitted a 
bill that would empower the Russian President to impose 
economic sanctions against any country, legal entity, or 
person in the event of an "emergency situation."  The bill is 
still in its early stages.  While there are differing views 
about its ultimate prospects, with some suggesting it will 
not be speedily adopted, an initial push from President Putin 
and backing from the pro-Kremlin United Russia suggest it 
could quickly become law.  Although purportedly based on the 
U.S. International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the bill 
lacks any provision for a legislative check on the 
President's ability to impose or lift sanctions. Some 
observers argue the bill would be redundant, as the 
appropriate legislative tools for regulating relations with 
Georgia and other CIS states already exist.  End summary. 
 
Background on Process, Prospects 
-------------------------------- 
 
2.  (U) On October 27, United Russia Duma Deputies Vladimir 
Pligin and Vladislav Reznik submitted a bill to the Duma that 
would empower the President to impose economic sanctions 
against any country, legal entity, or person in the event of 
an "emergency situation."  We understand that the bill has 
not yet left the "assigning" committee. 
 
3. (U) Once introduced by a deputy or deputies, a Duma bill 
goes to the assigning committee and, once vetted, to the Duma 
Council, which vets it again, then decides if it should be 
introduced at the Duma.  At either of these stages, the bill 
can be returned to the author(s) for re-drafting.  The 
purpose of vetting is to determine if it complies with 
constitutional law and which committee(s) will shepherd it 
through the legislative process. 
 
4. (U) After it has been assigned to a committee, a bill must 
pass three readings in the Duma.  The first reading is 
essentially an introduction. According to Galina Bodrenkova, 
an expert working on the Civil Affairs and Religious 
Associations Committee, the real drafting work occurs between 
the first and second readings of a bill, when interested 
parties contribute their input for the drafting committee's 
consideration.  If a bill passes the second reading, the 
third reading is generally pro forma, as is the approval by 
the Federation Council and the President.  Laws come into 
effect upon publication in the state newspaper Rossiskaya 
Gazeta. 
 
5. (U) According to media reports, the genesis of the 
sanctions bill was a meeting on Georgia that President Putin 
had with Duma faction leaders.  Observers predict a first 
reading in November, although the bill is not yet on the 
publicly-accessible Duma calendar. 
 
6. (SBU) Aleksandr Moskalets, first deputy on the 
Constitutional Affairs Committee, told us, however, that he 
did not expect swift passage.  Contrary to the 1990s, when 
crucial legislation was passed in days, today's Duma prefers 
to examine potential legislation more carefully. Indeed, 
Moskalets thought the bill might not pass. He detected in the 
Duma a significant minority opposed to the bill, in part 
because many believe that the Ministry of Emergency Affairs 
already has legislation at its disposal for such purposes. 
Political analyst Dmitriy Oreshkin agreed that concerns about 
Russia's image might dampen enthusiasm for the legislation. 
Neither Moskalets, nor Oreshkin had seen a complete text of 
the bill. 
 
The Draft 
--------- 
 
7. (U) The draft bill defines an "international emergency 
situation" as a "combination of factors, which present a 
threat to the health, to human and civil rights, as well as 
the security of the state."  The bill permits sanctions to be 
imposed for four years, with extension for an additional two 
years possible if "the situation continues to be dangerous to 
the health, rights, and lawful interests of Russian citizens, 
or the security of the state." 
 
8. (U) The bill would empower the President to suspend 
economic, military, or technical assistance programs; ban or 
limit financial transactions; ban or limit external economic 
operations; suspend trade or other international contracts; 
change import/export duties; sever or limit sea and air 
transportation links; restrict tourism; and/or, limit 
technical and scientific exchanges. 
 
MOSCOW 00012232  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
9. (U) The proposal to impose such sanctions may be made by 
the President, the Federation Council, the Duma, or the 
Government.  The ultimate decision to impose them, however, 
is the President's.  The same four entities may propose that 
sanctions be suspended but that decision, again, rests with 
the President. 
 
Like the U.S. Law? 
------------------ 
 
10. (U) The Russian press has made much of the fact that the 
U.S. International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) was 

purportedly used as a model for this draft bill.  There are a 
few key differences, however. In the IEEPA, the President 
must report regularly to Congress, which has the power to 
override via concurrent resolution any sanctions imposed by 
the President. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
11. (SBU) Given that the Duma is controlled by the 
Kremlin-compliant United Russia, we believe this bill -- 
Moskalets's caveats notwithstanding -- has a good chance of 
becoming law.  References to U.S. sanctions law appear to be 
an effort to give the bill the appropriate pedigree. If 
passed, the bill would retroactively legalize measures that 
Russia has already imposed on a number of CIS countries 
(Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, and Ukraine). 
BURNS

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