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 TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report MORE reportedly put a stop to the plans after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyHaley seeks to quell talk she could replace Pence Steve Schmidt: 'Overwhelming chance that Trump will dump Pence' for Haley Nikki Haley: Trump 'truthful' in 'every instance that I dealt with him' MORE announced them on "Face the Nation.”