A law has been adopted prohibiting advertising from being placed on foreign agents’ resources

Pepeliaev Group advises that on 28 February 2024 the State Duma adopted in the third reading Draft LawDraft Law No. 553750-8 “On amending article 11 of the Federal Law “On supervising the activity of persons under foreign influence” and certain items of the legislation of the Russian Federation” (with regard to the prohibition on foreign agents distributing advertising of individuals and legal entities on information resources)”.
 No. 553750-8 (the “Law”), which provides for a prohibition on advertising being placed on foreign agents’ resources, and on advertising of foreign agents’ resources being placed in the Russian media.

Foreign agents - who are they?

According to article 1(1) of Federal Law No. 255-FZ “On supervising the activity of persons under foreign influence” dated 14 July 2022 (below in the text “Federal Law No. 255-FZ”), a foreign agent means a person who meets all the following conditions at once:

  1. has received support and/or is under foreign influence in other forms and

  2. conducts activity, types of which are established in article 4 of Federal Law No. 255-FZ.

The types of activities established by article 4 of Federal Law No. 255-FZ include political activity, the intentional collection of information in the field of military or military and technical activities of the Russian Federation, the dissemination of messages and materials intended for the public and/or participation in the creation of such messages and materials, and other types of activities.

Pursuant to article 3(1) of Federal Law No. 255-FZ the following sources are recognised as foreign sources:

  1. foreign states;

  2. public authorities of foreign states;

  3. international and foreign companies;

  4. foreign individuals;

  5. stateless persons;

  6. unincorporated foreign structures;

  7. persons authorised by the above sources specified in clauses 1-6;

  8. a citizen of the Russian Federation and Russian legal entities receiving monetary funds and/or other property from sources specified in clauses 1-7 above, or acting as intermediaries when such monetary funds and/or other property are/is received (except for open joint stock companies in which the government has a membership interest and their subsidiaries);

  9. Russian legal entities, beneficial owners of which are foreign individuals or stateless persons;

  10. persons under the influence of the above sources specified in clauses 1-9.

Article 1(3) of Federal Law No. 255-FZ provides for a list of persons who cannot be recognised as foreign agents, including:

  1. Russian public authorities; persons controlled by the Russian Federation, constituent entities of the Russian Federation, or by municipal units; public not-for profit organisations; state companies; state corporations and persons controlled by them; management bodies of state extra-budgetary funds;

  2. religious organisations registered under the statutory procedure;

  3. political parties registered under the statutory procedure;

  4. associations of employers unions, chambers of commerce and industry registered under the statutory procedure;

For the purposes of keeping records of foreign agents the authorised body (the Russian Ministry of Justice) maintains a register. The register is available on the website of the Russian Ministry of Justice.

The essence of the law

The law provides for a number of regulations to be amended.

Thus, article 11 of Federal Law No. 255-FZ has been supplemented with part 20 as follows: “Foreign agents are covered by restrictions and prohibitions provided for by Federal Law No. 38-FZ “On advertising” dated 13 March 2006”.

In addition, advertising of foreign agents’ resources is prohibited in the media and in messages and materials of the media in information and telecommunication networks. The corresponding amendments are made to article 4 of Law No. 2124 of the Russian Federation “On the mass media” dated 27 December 1991.

Article 5 of Federal Law No. 38-FZ “On advertising” dated 13 March 2006 (below in the text “Federal Law No. 38-FZ”) is supplemented with part 105: “The distribution of advertising on the foreign agent’s information resource is not allowed”.

According to the Law advertising of foreign agents’ information resources is not allowed. The corresponding amendments are suggested to be made to article 7 of Federal Law 38-FZ by supplementing clause 12 of it.


Neither the Law nor Federal Law No. 38-FZ contains definitions of an ‘information resource’. At the same time, according to article 3(13) “Advertising system” of Federal Law No. 38-FZ the concept of an ‘information resource’ includes:

  • websites in the Internet,

  • webpages in the Internet,

  • information systems and/or computer programs.

Currently the Law has been submitted to the Federation Council. After Federation Council approves the Law, it will come into force after 10 days from when it is signed by the Russian President and officially published.


For distribution of advertising on an information resource of a foreign agent, and for advertising of a foreign agent’s information resources, liability can be imposed under article 14.3(1) of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences (“Violation of legislation on advertising”), which provides for an administrative fine in an amount from RUB 100,000 to RUB 500,000 for legal entities.

In addition, the Russian Code of Administrative Offences provides for special administrative liability for a failure, within the established deadline, to implement an order or a warning of the authority exercising control over compliance with Russian legislation on foreign agents to eliminate violations of legislation - an administrative fine in the amount from RUB 200,000 to RUB 300,000 for legal entities.

Please note that in such case a person will first be served with an order to eliminate the identified violationsUnder article 10 (5)(9) of Federal Law No. 255-FZ.
.  If the person fails to implement the order, they may face administrative liability.

What to think about and what to do

We recommend that all interested parties should:

  1. nform their marketing department and/or advertising department of the requirements of the Law;

  2. Analyse on what information resources your advertising is distributed (or may be distributed) and exclude advertising from being distributed on information resources of foreign agents;

  3. Analyse what kind of advertising is distributed (or may be distributed) on your information resource and exclude foreign agents’ information resources from being distributed;

  4. Add necessary clauses in contracts with advertisers and/or advertising distributors.

Help from your adviser

The lawyers of Pepeliaev Group stand ready to provide comprehensive legal support in compliance with legislation on foreign agents.

Pepeliaev Group provides the following types of services:

  • Analysing the likelihood of a person being recognised as a foreign agent;

  • Advising on issues associated with interaction with foreign agents;

  • Providing recommendations connected with entry into agreements for placing advertising on information resources in the Internet.
Translated by the Translation Department of Pepeliaev Group.

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