The authors of the research project on lobbying "DumaBingo" - the ex-team of "Transparency International - Russia" - published a report on whose interests the deputies of the VIII convocation of the State Duma are lobbying. After the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the State Duma began to work at an accelerated pace: last year it adopted 653 laws. Many of them were initiated by the presidential administration or the government, but deputies could introduce some of the bills in their own interests or in the interests of specific industries or companies. The authors of the report call such initiatives “potentially lobbying”, since it is very difficult to accurately determine the degree of influence of third parties on the legislative process. “The most important criterion for a potentially lobbying bill is the explicit or special privileges that it proposes to introduce for the industry/company/department,” the report notes. It lists six potentially lobbying bills.
About the unified digital advertising operator
Author Artem Kiryanov ("United Russia"). The document was adopted in the first reading, it was supported by the speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin. In the second reading, the bill was unexpectedly rejected.
What is proposed: to create a single operator of digital billboards and electronic advertisements of individuals, through which all private advertisements on the Internet, including those posted on Avito, Yulia, and Cyane, will pass.
The potential beneficiary is the outdoor advertising operator Russ Outdoor. This is the only company in the country that meets all the requirements listed in the bill, and the most likely candidate for the role of a single operator. It is known that United Russia is the only party that used the services of Russ Outdoor during the 2021 election campaign. One of the ultimate beneficiaries of the company, Bekhan Barakhoev, was elected to the deputies from United Russia in the same year.
In February 2022, an investment fund managed by Sergey Kotlyarenko’s company became the owner of 22% of the Russ Outdoor group — this is the asset manager of Igor Shuvalov’s family, as well as the Don-Stroy Invest company controlled by VTB.
After the coronavirus pandemic, Russ Outdoor was able to recover and showed record profits in 2022. At the same time, in 2020, the Russ Outdoor group reported a loss of 2.77 billion rubles.
On the partial ban on betting games
Author: Dmitry Gusev ("A Just Russia - For the Truth"). Adopted on first reading.
What is proposed: to ban all "quick games" in bookmakers. The bill clarifies the definition of the concept of "slot machine" and prohibits the use of slot machines, software and technical equipment that imitate their work in bookmakers or sweepstakes. Market participants noted that the definition of “fast games” in the text of the document is vague, so even online sports betting can be banned.
Potential beneficiary: large classical betting companies.
On public procurement of medicines without competition
Authors : a group of deputies and senators from "ER". Not considered.
What is proposed: to extend until 2025 the practice introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to which the regions received the right to purchase medicines and supplies for medical institutions without competition. As planned, everything you need will need to be bought from the only suppliers - enterprises owned by the state.
Potential beneficiary: suppliers and manufacturers of medicines and medical devices.
One of the authors of the document, deputy Airat Farrakhov, the former Minister of Health of Tatarstan, is known as a representative of the interests of the pharmaceutical industry. By the time the bill was introduced, Tatarstan had already purchased many medicines without competition.
A monopoly in the pharmaceutical industry is beneficial to several major players at once - for example, one of the richest people in Russia, the head of the R-Pharm group of pharmaceutical companies, Alexei Repik. He is closely connected with the Russian authorities: he is a member of several government coordinating councils and is the chairman of Delovaya Rossiya. Before him, the organization was headed by business ombudsman Boris Titov, now Titov's son Pavel is the president of Delovaya Rossiya.
On the introduction of a special economic zone in the Sirius Center
Authors : six deputies ("ER", LDPR, SRZP). Not considered.
What is proposed: to create a special economic zone with an investment-attractive environment in order to encourage companies from high-tech and knowledge-intensive sectors of the economy to participate in the formation of scientific and technological infrastructure.
Potential beneficiary: Sirius. This is a former urban-type settlement within Sochi, and now a territorial unit with a unique status. The educational center of the same name, created under the patronage of Vladimir Putin, owns a large amount of real estate. The co-owner of the founder of "Sirius" - the company "Talent and Success" - is a cellist and Putin's "purse" Sergei Roldugin. The head of the center, Yelena Shmeleva, has been linked to several people close to Putin, including his daughter, Katerina Tikhonova.
Shmeleva ran for the State Duma from United Russia in last year's elections, although she did not become a deputy. TV presenter Vladimir Pozner in 2021, introducing Shmeleva in an interview, said that her “influence is incomprehensible to the mind. Ministers and heads of large companies fly to Sochi to meet with her at the first invitation.”
Two heating tobacco labeling bills
Authors : a group of deputies from "ER" and Andrey Lugovoy (LDPR). One of the bills was adopted in the first reading.
What is proposed: The first document proposes to impose restrictions on the number of heated tobacco products that can be transported in Russia (no more than 200 unmarked heated tobacco products or no more than 50 ml of nicotine-containing liquid per person). The second provides for administrative liability for the transportation of volumes in excess of the permitted. The authors of the bills claim that as of 2022, illegal products accounted for 90% of the entire Russian market for such goods.
Potential beneficiaries: manufacturers of tobacco products; federal and regional budgets.
About public ecological expertise
Authors : a group of deputies from "ER" and the Liberal Democratic Party. Adopted on first reading.
What is proposed: to ban the organization and conduct of public environmental reviews of organizations recognized as "foreign agents", as well as international organizations and their employees. According to the bill, only state-certified specialists will be able to conduct examinations. Environmental activists point out that this is contrary to the principle of independence of public expertise. In particular, it actually bans the activities and expertise of Greenpeace - the organization is recognized as a "foreign agent" in Russia.
“The new bill, just like the previous one, essentially creates a monopoly on public environmental expertise: each of them will have to be carried out by a specially created unified expert commission,” the report says.
Potential beneficiaries: developers, industrialists, waste processing plants.
DumaBingo is a lobbying research project that collects information about deputies and senators on its website. A profile has been drawn up for each, describing bills introduced, as well as business and family ties. Comparison of this information with the legislative activities of the deputy allows you to determine whose interests he represents.