10.06.2016 — Presidential Amendments to Fight Corruption

The State Duma has passed in the first reading the presidential amendments to the Russian Criminal Code (CC) according to which special criminal penalty for mediation in commercial bribery will appear.

Thus, transfer of "illegal gratification" for commercial purposes in considerable amounts will be punished by a fine in the amount of up to 400 thousand rubles or 5 to 20 times the amount of the bribery transferred. If the bribery is less than 10 thousand rubles, the accused can face penalty up to 150 thousand rubles or restriction of liberty for up to 1 year.

Such initiative is of immediate interest and vital importance, especially against the background of the corruption perception rating published earlier by Transparency International. Since CC amendments are directed towards corruption eradication, the government hopes these measures will be efficient and improve Russia’s international image.

09.06.2016 — Central Bank Predicts Inflation to Decrease to 5-6% in 2016

The Central Bank, having analysed the economic situation in Russia, has noticed stunted increase in prices and stabilization of inflation at the level of 7,3%. Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) has also reported that for the first time since August 2015 zero inflation could be recorded in Russia.

Indicators of economic activity on average have improved. Besides, the Central Bank has decided to reduce key interest rate from 11% to 10,5% and if the current monetary policy is unchanged, inflation by the end of 2017 will be reduced to 4%, the Central Bank expects.

08.06.2016 — Creation of Special Economic Zones to Be Suspended

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has instructed to develop uniform operation strategies for Special Economic Zones (SEZ), to provide optimization of the budgetary investments and mechanisms of their transfer under management of the territorial subjects of the Russian Federation, as well as to suspend creation of  new SEZ and new Priority Development Areas (PDA). Besides, it was proposed to close ten of the existing SEZ and to transfer authority over the remaining SEZ to regions.

At the moment 33 SEZ in 30 regions are registered in Russia. The Ministry of Economic Development reports that over 11 years of their functioning, the existing SEZ and PDA have managed to attract more than 400 investors. Such SEZ as Istok in Fryazino (Moscow region), Uzlovaya (Tula) and others have been created this year alone.

07.06.2016 — Rosreestr Updated Public Cadastral Map

Due to the increase in number of users the Federal Registration Service (Rosreestr) has launched on its homepage the new version of the Public Cadastral Map (PCM) - the all-Russian information resource containing data from the State Real Estate Cadastre.

The new version provides for time-sensitive automatic data update within two days, fast information search and fast answer formation analogous to the well-known search engines, as well as expanded download opportunities. All information on the PCM is available free of charge.

06.06.2016 — Notarization of Transactions with Residential Property is Obligatory

On June 6, 2016 the Federal law No. 172 FZ has come into force, which forbids sale, transfer by gift and exchange of shares in residential real estate without notarization of the transaction. From now on, each citizen is obliged to notify in writing all other owners of premises that he or she is going to sell, exchange or transfer by gift the corresponding shares, and also to specify all details of the transaction.

If any other property owners do not want to acquire the shаre offered for sale within a month, the owner will have an opportunity to sell (transfer by gift, exchange or otherwise alienate) the shаre. At the same time, the notaries will not be able to register the transaction if the seller does not provide him with written refusals of all other owners of the property in question.