Russian lawmakers introduce legislation to make observing US sanctions a crime

Russian lawmakers introduce legislation to make observing US sanctions a crime

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday moved to make observing U.S. sanctions a crime punishable by up to four years in jail.

The bill would punish individuals or companies refusing to do business with a Russian citizen because of sanctions imposed by the U.S. or other countries, according to Reuters.

Potential fines of up to $9,696 and “other limits on their freedom” are also included in the measure.

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The bill will have its second reading on Thursday and is likely to be changed before it is signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the news service reported.

The legislation would also make it a crime for Russian citizens to provide information to foreign governments to help them put sanctions on Russia, an offense punishable by up to three years in jail or a $7,985 fine.

Russian lawmakers originally intended to impose counter-sanctions on some U.S. goods with the bill, but have since pulled back.

The U.S. earlier this year imposed economic sanctions on some Russian individuals and entities for “destabilizing efforts” in the 2016 election, including cyberattacks and social media campaigns.

The U.S. was also considering additional sanctions on Russia last month over its alleged role in a chemical attack in Syria, but President TrumpDonald John TrumpArizona GOP Senate candidate defends bus tour with far-right activist Alyssa Milano protests Kavanaugh in 'Handmaid's Tale' costume Bomb in deadly Yemen school bus attack was manufactured by US firm: report MORE reportedly put a stop to the plans after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTreasury retweets Trump, possibly violating campaign law UN human rights chief: Trump’s anti-press rhetoric is ‘very close to incitement to violence’ Who guards the guardians? MORE announced them on "Face the Nation.”