IS A SOVIET CHILL ABOUT TO BITE?

Visa regulations for foreign nationals may be toughened in Russia

This is to be discussed in the near future by the Russian State Duma. The new version of the laws on entering and leaving the country and on the position of foreign nationals in Russia mentions tighter restrictions.

These documents suggest that those deemed “reliable” will have the greatest chances for getting into Russia, while those foreigners considered to have done damage to Russia’s international prestige will not fall into this category. Other such outcasts will be those who “talk in a derogatory manner about State symbols, executive bodies and cultural and social values which have developed through history”.

Those in the wrong category may have their visa applications rejected.

True, what exactly the harm is that could be done to the country is not specified. However several experts believe that the amendments to the law are directed most of all against foreign journalists publishing information not to the Kremlin’s liking. Among amendments already passed, incidentally, during the first reading, was a ban on entry to Russia of people “having caused the State significant material damage”, and “presenting a danger”, including danger of infection.

Human rights activists have already sounded the alarm, warning that very soon in Russia we could see the Iron Curtain reinstated. If this happens, only official delegations and individuals who are “loyal” in their attitude to the regime’s politics will be allowed into the country, according to the radio station “Ekho Moskvy”.

( categories: News | State and society )