Russian President Vladimir Putin has tightened restrictions on street demonstrations for a six-week period starting in June, potentially undermining opposition leader Aleksei Navalny's plans for nationwide protests on June 12.
In a decree published by the Kremlin on May 10, Putin imposed additional limits on public gatherings during the upcoming FIFA Confederations Cup soccer tournament and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
It obliges organizers of demonstrations in cities hosting matches to coordinate their plans, including protest sites and routes of marches, with local law enforcement and security authorities.
The decree, whose stated purpose is to increase security, says that organizers will not be able to choose where to hold their rallies, but instead would be told by city authorities and security officials.
The FIFA Confederations Cup is scheduled to be held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, and Kazan from June 17 to July 2 of this year, and the decree imposes the additional rules from June 1 to July 12.
After anticorruption protests that brought crowds into the streets in about 100 cities on March 26, Navalny is calling on Russians to protest again on June 12.
Navalny is seeking to get on the ballot for a March 2018 election in which Putin is widely expected to run for a new six-year term.
In 2018, the restrictions will be in place from May 25 to July 25, a period encompassing the World Cup.
With reporting by TASS