Russia to Expand Interpretation of High Treason Laws

ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Russian lawmakers have voted to expand the government's definition of high treason.

Russia's parliament has proposed a new law that would include support for "those seeking to damage Russia's security" as an acceptable definition for high treason and espionage, BBC News reports.

The current law includes a less broad definition limiting the treasonous actions to a "foreign state damaging Russia's external security," according to BBC.

Critics of the proposed bill, passed 375-2 in the parliament's lower house, say the new broader definition of high treason would make almost any interaction with international organizations -- even multinational aid groups -- criminal activity.

The bill is expected to pass quickly in the Russian parliament's upper house, but will require President Vladimir Putin's signature to become law.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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