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MOSCOW, December 26, 2:47 /ITAR-TASS/. The Federation Council (the upper house) on Wednesday approved amendments to the Russian Criminal Code to impose up to five-year imprisonment for calls for division of Russia. The amendments were earlier proposed by Communist deputies headed by their leader Gennady Zyuganov.
When the document comes into force, fines, penal labour or imprisonment will be imposed for public calls for actions to violate the Russian Federation's territorial integrity. The law prescribes up to 300,000-rouble fines, up to 300 hours of penal labour or up to three-year imprisonment, and if such actions are committed with the use of media, including the Internet, up to 480 hours of penal labour or up to five years' imprisonment.
Meanwhile, senators intend to propose their amendments to the law in January.
"We have agreed with the State Duma (the lower house) to prepare and in January submit changes and amendments to the law," said Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko.
According to the speaker, there are shortcomings in the document, but they are not of a critical character. Work on the law will continue, she said.
The amendments to the Russian Criminal Code prescribing up to five years' imprisonment for separatism calls were submitted to the Federation Council's consideration on Wednesday. The State Duma accepted the legislative initiative on September 20. The law will come into force on May 9, 2014.