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Russian Law: Parliament in Action
June 22, 2014 10:53

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1. Linguistic purge campaign
Liberal Democrats are making a splash again with a new draft law to fine people for using foreign words instead of their Russian equivalents despite skepticism by scholars.
The Culture Committee of the Russian Parliament has approved a bill that would see the English words like ‘boutique’, ‘performance’, ‘single’ (meaning a song), and ‘manager’ outlawed from contemporary parlance. Also, they are obviously tired of too many ‘wows’ and ‘okeys’.
Any of these words transcribed (instead of being translated) might set you back between 2,000 to 2,500 roubles, or $60-70, while officials and senior executives would have to cough up between 4,000 and 5,000, or $115-140, and legal entities would face a fine worth ten times more, between $1,150 and $1,400.
According to Alexander Balberov, deputy head of the State Duma Culture Committee, the sponsors of the initiative are only looking to reverse a negative trend when too many foreign words become part of the language while their equivalents known and used for decades fall in oblivion.
The MPs don’t mean to fine every passerby on the street who utters an English version for a word which already exists in Russia – rather, they claim they mainly target senior executives, officials and the mass media.
Balberov insists they are not re-inventing the wheel, but are relying on successful foreign practices, the French one in particular.
Scholars in linguistics have voiced their surprise at not having been consulted on the issue and skepticism in enforcing such a law, suggesting the bill might pursue some political agenda.
2. No mercy
The United Russia party has penned a bill to toughen punishment for those who’ve been sentenced to a life imprisonment.
According to Nikolay Makarov, the practice of dangerous convicts being released on parole undermines the trust of the nation in the state’s capacity to defend its people.
If the bill is signed into law, courts would be able to include a ban on early release into their verdict when sentencing criminals to life imprisonment.
3. Bring back the taxes to me
Russian MPs have passed a law that would see Russian banks hand over the information on US citizens’ accounts to the US authorities in compliance with FATCA, or the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
The only caveat is that the Russian banks would have to request permission from their clients for such a disclosure.

In case the clients do not cooperate, the law enables the banks to terminate their contracts with US citizens. 

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Russian laws Parliament in Action Russian language   

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