Russian President Vladimir Putin said he approves of the laws that the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, passed during its spring session.
“I would like to once again repeat [that] I think everything that was done was right, [and now] the decisions should be adequately implemented,” Putin said.
The State Duma, which went into summer recess earlier this month, passed over 150 laws during this year’s spring session, including bills branding many NGOs as “foreign agents”, criminalizing defamation and creating an Internet blacklist. Those laws drew criticism from many public organizations.
Putin also said he did not see criminalizing defamation as an “excessive” measure.
"When we lack general culture, ethical and moral restraints, then [laws] should certainly be introduced… I don’t think that what we did was excessive,” Putin said, adding that defamation might be decriminalized again in the future.
The Duma also passed bills easing party registration and introducing direct gubernatorial elections. It likewise approved the “single voting day” bill, but the bill was later rejected by the upper chamber, the Federation Council.