The initiative of United Russia member Yevgeny Fyodorov, who had introduced a bill of treating mass media as «foreign agents», became a cause of large trials in the Kremlin. The United Russia leaders were excoriated for not controlling their deputies.
"The dressing-dawn to Vorobyev (the leader of the United Russia faction Andrei Vorobiev) and Neverov (the secretary of the General Council of the party Sergei Neverov) was fundamental,” a source close to the presidential administration said. “Vorobyov got the treatment for not knowing about the events in fraction. Neverov got the same for not reacting in time to the things doing obvious harm to party."
Earlier, Andrei Vorobyov said that the bill on NGOs-foreign agents is one of the most important brought in the State Duma during the spring session.
Let's remind, the bill on NGOs-foreign agents was submitted to the Duma by United Russia deputies on June 29. The essence of the proposed amendments is that the media receiving more than 50 percent of their financing from abroad will be treated as “foreign agents”. If the amendments are adopted, Russian NGOs, which are engaged in political activities and have foreign sources of funding, will enter into a special register. They will be put on a special legal regime providing, in particular, the special reporting requirements and special audit. The law provides with criminal liability for non-compliance with the regulation. The maximum imposing punishment is up to 4 years in custody. The bill can be finally approved by the Federal Assembly in July.
The bill has caused a wide public resonance. On July 5, the Public Chamber recommended to the State Duma to bring a number of amendments into it, in particular, to replace the term "foreign agent" with a more neutral.
Meanwhile, a source in the governing body of United Russia said that it had been investigated on the request of the Kremlin: who or what had inspired Yevgeny Fyodorov write the scandalous bill and submit it to the Duma. "It turned out that Fedorov had Yury Shuvalov, a member of the Supreme Council of United Russia and the head of the State Duma press service, behind him», a source says. Shuvalov’ motives were to punch Fedorov's appointment to the newly created post of the chairman of committee on information policy. Since the topic of NGOs and foreign funding were hot, Shuvalov expected that the bill would fall into the stream.
One way or another, but, according to the source, the party bosses have been warned: either they work on bills carefully and thoughtfully, or «some corresponding conclusions will follow».