The Russian parliamentary task group established to prevent foreign interference in Russian politics has met for the first time, with members proposing that all foreign meddling be recoded in a ‘black book’ and that potential retaliatory measures be developed.
The proposal to start collecting evidence of foreign meddling in Russian internal politics was made by the deputy head of the Federation Council’s Committee for International Relations, Senator Andrey Klimov. He also said that all those working to undermine Russian sovereignty should be included in a so-called ‘black book.’
“By launching such a document we will be able to study the tools of our opponents and develop more reliable methods [of countering them]” Klimov said in comments with RBC news site.
He also said that the task group planned to establish the criteria for foreign interference in Russia’s domestic political affairs at one a future session.
Additionally, the senators agreed to form three more working groups – for the protection of Russian sovereignty on Russian territory, for the monitoring of foreign activities targeting Russia’s internal affairs, and for legislative work.
According to the head of the upper house Committee for International Relations, Senator Konstantin Kosachev, since 1946 the United States has interfered with elections in foreign nations at least 80 times.
“This is not including military operations launched to overthrow certain governments or military coups that took place in various countries after their people elected candidates that did not please the Americans. I am talking about Iran, Congo, Guatemala and Chile,” Kosachev said.
Russian senators decided to launch a dedicated commission to monitor foreign nations’ attempts to influence internal Russian politics and work on proposals to counter such moves in early June this year. Russian media reported that the idea was proposed after President Vladimir Putin’s recent meetings with the leaders of Germany and France.
Back then, upper house chair Valentina Matviyenko said that attempts to interfere with Russia’s internal affairs had been ongoing for many years, adding that foreign governments and groups were sending US$70-100 billion to Russia each year to sponsor various political activities.
“We know the consequences of such meddling and we hold our sovereignty dear, we will not allow anyone to threaten Russia’s sovereignty,” she said.
In subsequent comments, Matviyenko said that in her opinion it was wrong to describe the decision as “tightening the screws” because all future protective measures would be developed on the basis of foreign nations’ experience.