Journalists and bloggers turned their attention to curious figures that appeared on the State Procurement website: it turns out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered the production of 175,000 forms of diplomatic foreign passports. The contract with JSC Goznak was signed for 306.5 million rubles by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Interest here is the fact that the ordered forms are 12 times more than all the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs! Only 15,000 people work there, and by no means all of them have diplomatic status. But the holders of such passports have the right to travel without interference and visas to any country in the world.
The answer is simple: it turned out that since 2012, not only diplomats, but also Kremlin officials, employees of the State Duma, the Federation Council, the Prosecutor General's Office and other departments can get diplomatic passports. And besides, it is allowed to issue these documents to “other persons on the basis of petitions from the federal authorities”.
Journalists calculated the number of Russian officials who are entitled to such passports, and they turned out to be 180,000 people, that is, slightly more than indicated in the contract. Doesn't this mean that officials, bypassing Western sanctions, will be able to freely visit their foreign villas and apartments?
By the way, the other day, in response to the unfriendly actions of some countries against Russia, the State Duma of the Russian Federation canceled visa-free entry for holders of diplomatic passports. The document provides for the introduction of a visa regime for citizens with diplomatic passports from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Liechtenstein, as well as the abolition of visa preferences for members of official delegations, national and regional governments and parliaments, constitutional and supreme courts. The change also applies to journalists of the listed states. The bill was initiated by the government of the Russian Federation.
We also recall that the issuance of diplomatic passports not to diplomats, but to officials, media editors, prosecutors, etc., was widely practiced in the USSR. So in this sense, modern Russia has not come up with anything new.