Russian Justice Ministry Declares Long-Haul Truckers Union A Foreign Agent – OpEd

The Russian Ministry of Justice has declared the Carriers Union of Russia a foreign agent because the group has received some 250,000 rubles (4,000 US dollars) from Germany. The action comes just two weeks before the union plans to restart its strike against the Plato payment system that drivers have staged labor actions before.

Andrey Bazhutin, the head of the union, said the action was not entirely unexpected given that justice ministry officers checked the union’s books the week of November 15-20 but that neither he nor his colleagues viewed the acceptance of such contributions as making them “a foreign agent” (novayagazeta.ru/news/2017/12/01/137526-vystupivshuyu-protiv-platona-organizatsiyu-dalnoboyschikov-priznali-inoagentom).

This designation will give Moscow yet another propaganda tool to be deployed against the strikers and may lead some who had planned to take part in the job action to stay on the job. It may also make it more difficult for Bazhutin to run for Russian president as he has said he hopes to do.


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Paul Goble

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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