Russia Plans to Ban Advertisements on Websites of “Foreign Agents”

Published: 14 February 2024

Volodin Russian State Duma Chair

Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of the Russian State Duma, announces possible new measures targeting the alleged "foreign agents." (Photo: Russian State Duma, License)

By Zdravko Ljubas

In a bid to further crack down on critics, Russian authorities unveil potential new measures targeting alleged “foreign agents” who oppose the Moscow regime.

The Federal Assembly lawmakers are considering a bill to ban citizens and companies from advertising on “foreign agent” platforms, the country’s State Duma stated Tuesday.

“We receive numerous inquiries questioning why advertisements from Russian companies are still being placed on the internet resources of foreign agents,” Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of the State Duma wrote on his Telegram channel.

He claimed that there’s widespread outrage over bloggers aligned with “unfriendly states,” who continue to tarnish Russia’s image while profiting from Russian citizens and domestic companies.

“This is unacceptable,” Volodin said.

To curb such practices, he additionally noted, a bill has been proposed to the Duma, aiming to forbid citizens and domestic companies, irrespective of ownership structure, from advertising on the websites of foreign agents, as well as on social networks and other internet platforms.

Volodin also emphasized that deputies deem it essential to cut off all sources of income for foreign agents in Russia, and insisted that those who breach the ban should be subjected to “strict accountability measures.”

In 2012, Russia enacted a legislation known as the “foreign agent” law, which mandates that non-governmental and media organizations, as well as individuals funded from abroad, must declare themselves as “foreign agents” if they engage in the broadly-defined field of “political activity.”