Kremlin blocks the bill legalizing Russian private military companies

The Russian government has refused to support a bill to legalize private military companies (PMCs) in Russia, Interfax reports. The relevant revocation was sent to the State Duma.

The Cabinet of Ministers said that the bill goes against Russia’s constitution. Section 5 article 13 of the Russian constitution prohibits the creation and activity of public unions whose goals and activities are directed at the creation of armed formations. Article 71 stipulates that matters of defense and security, war and peace, foreign policy and Russia’s international relations are to be handled by the state.

The bill was also not ratified by the Defense Ministry, Finance Ministry, Foreign Ministry, National Guard, FSB, Foreign Intelligence Service, Federal Protective Service, Office of Prosecutor General or Justice Ministry.

In January 2018, a bill to regulate aspects relating to the creation, reorganization and liquidation of private military and military-security organizations was put forward in the State Duma by MPs Sergey Mironov and Mikhail Emelyanov from the “A Just Russia” party.

In an explanatory note, the MPs pointed out that PMCs operate in more than 110 countries, and that the market and services account for “hundreds of billions of US dollars”. The primary customers of PMC services are transnational companies and the state institutions of the US, UK and France.

  Russia, Russian mercenaries