By John Ikani
The Interior Ministry of Russia has put forth legislation requiring foreigners to sign a “loyalty agreement,” barring them from challenging the legitimacy of official policies, questioning the military history of the Soviet Union, or opposing traditional family values.
In February 2022, President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine, leading to the enactment of stringent laws prohibiting criticism of the military and imposing lengthy prison sentences on opposition activists.
Approaching the 2024 presidential election, Putin frames the conflict as an existential battle against the West, vowing to safeguard Russia’s “sacred” civilization from what he deems Western decadence.
On Wednesday, the TASS State news agency revealed that the interior ministry had drafted legislation compelling all incoming foreigners to sign an agreement limiting their public expression.
TASS states that interfering with Russian authorities, discrediting state policies, and engaging in any form of criticism are strictly forbidden for foreigners in Russia.
The proposed agreement covers various aspects, including history, morality, family, and “propaganda about non-traditional sexual relations.” Specifically, distorting the historical truth about the Soviet people’s defence against fascism would be prohibited for foreigners.
The draft legislation’s applicability to specific foreign nationals and the consequences for violating the agreement remain unclear, as reported by Russian media.