news archive:
Foreign citizen are to apply for the RF driver’s licence to be able to operate a vehicle

Effective 5 November 2013 are the amendments to articles 20, 25 and 26 of the Federal Law No.196-FZ "On road-traffic safety", dated 10 December 1995, and new article 12.32.1 of "Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses".

According to the updated legislation Legal entities and Entrepreneurs are strictly forbidden to allow the vehicle operation for drivers without RF national driver’s licence, confirming the right to operate the vehicle of respective categories and subcategories. When conducting entrepreneur or labor activity directly bound to operating a vehicle, abovementioned operating with foreign national driver’s licence or international driver’s licence is not allowed.

The administrative responsibility for the violation of that Legal Rule is charged as a penalty in the rate of 50 000 Rubles (five hundred thousand); the responsibility falls on the parties responsible for vehicle maintenance and operating conditions.

To receive the RF national driver’s licence the foreign citizen will be obliged to take the common test; this testing is to be conducted in Russian language.

As to operation of a personal vehicle for foreign citizens, it remains being allowed with the foreign national driver’s licence or international driver’s licence. Effective 13 May 2014  is the Provision par. (§) 14 Article 25 of the Federal law "On road-traffic safety", which allows operating a vehicle on the territory of Russian Federation to non-russian citizens provided they own both foreign national driver’s licence and international driver’s licence.

Application of the Convention on Human Rights Protection and Fundamental Freedoms by courts of general jurisdiction of the Russian Federation

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation published the resolution of Plenum № 21 of 27.06.2013 to courts of general jurisdiction that explains the application of the Convention on Human Rights Protection and Fundamental Freedoms of 4 November, 1950 and its Protocols.

The Resolution includes the following:

- the legal position of the European Court is considered by applying the legislation of the Russian Federation. The content of the rights and freedoms stipulated by the legislation of the Russian Federation shall be determined by taking into account the content of similar rights and freedoms, disclosed by the European Court through the Convention and its Protocols. The legislation of the Russian Federation may envisage a higher level of protection of the rights and freedoms in comparison with the standards guaranteed by the Convention and its Protocols as interpreted by the Court. In such cases, the courts shall apply the provisions contained in the legislation of the Russian Federation;

Smoking and tobacco ban

Federal Law No. 15-FZ "On the protection of public health from the impact of  tobacco smoke and the consequences of tobacco consumption" (hereinafter - the "law") came into force on June 1, 2013. There are certain provisions that are not included in this law. The law has increased the list of places where tobacco smoking is prohibited.

From June 1, 2013 smoking is prohibited in transport infrastructure such as railway stations, bus stations, river ports, airports, etc.

From June 1, 2014 smoking will not be allowed in the following places:

  • Bars, cafes and restaurants;
  • Hotels, hostels, campsites, etc.;
  • Long-distance trains during trips;
  • Long-distance passenger ships;
  • Commuter train platforms.
Remote work in Russia

An amendment to the Labour Code of the Russian Federation that regulates the work of remote employees came into force on April 19, 2013.

Remote work is understood to be job function performed by an employee outside the employer’s location and away from a stationary workplace, area or facility that is directly or indirectly controlled by the employer. An employment contract is signed between the employer and employee. To perform their job function and liaise with the employer it is mandatory that the employee uses public information and telecommunication networks, including the Internet.

An encrypted digital signature is used for signing the employment contract.

Working hours and holidays are set by the remote worker at their own discretion, unless otherwise expressly provided in the employment contract.

Among other things, the employment contract includes:

  • Performance report procedure and terms;
  • Procedure and terms for providing the employee with the necessary software and hardware devices, including information security tools needed for work as stated in the employment contract;
  • Procedure for providing paid annual leave and other holidays.

The employer may terminate employment on grounds provided in the employment contract.

Esterhazy book collection

An Agreement to return the Esterhazy book collection to Austria, signed on September 21, 2012 in Moscow, has been ratified by the Federal Law № 42-FZ of 05.04.2013.

The book collection of the Esterhazy family consists of unique XV-XVIII century publications in theology, astronomy, history, philosophy, medicine, science, art, law and linguistics in English, Aramaic, Latin, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Greek, Hebrew and other languages.

The collection was taken from Austria to the Soviet Union in 1945 by one of the Red Army units. It should be  noted that on October 7, 2005 Austria returned a copy of the "Flying Mercury" sculpture by Giambologna (cast in 1783) to Russia. The sculpture was taken from Pavlovsk Palace Museum in 1944 by the Nazis.