Statement by the Spokesperson of High Representative on the new law on treason in Russia

Brussels, 25-10-2012 — / — The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:

“The High Representative Catherine Ashton is concerned by the adoption of the Law on treason in the Russian State Duma on 23 October.

The new law would expand the scope for prosecution of and reduce the burden of proof for charges of treason and espionage. The abstract definition of treason contained in the law will make it difficult to apply in a fair manner. It also potentially penalises contacts with foreign nationals with up to 20 years in prison.

The adoption of this law follows a number of legislative and judicial developments in the Russian Federation over the few past months. Taken together, these developments would limit the space for civil society development, and increase the scope for intimidation. We will be monitoring the
implementation of this law closely.”

Michael Mann +32 498 999 780 – +32 2 299 97 80 –
Maja Kocijancic +32 498 984 425 – +32 2 298 65 70 –
Sebastien Brabant +32 460 75 09 98 –


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