MOSCOW, Russia. Any media that receive foreign funding may be liable to registering as “foreign agents” in Russia, said the Vice Speaker of the lower house, Peter Tolstoy.
On Monday, RT America was forced to register as a “foreign agent”, as ordered by the US authorities. On Wednesday, the State Duma will adopt a reciprocal law and send it to the Federation Council.
At the same time, Russia does not intend to restrict freedom of speech and the work of the media, stressed Federation Council Speaker, Valentina Matviyenko. The measures will be only a mirror response to Washington’s harassment of Russian media. This seems like contradictory statements, but the details are yet to be seen.
The Upper House will consider the law immediately after its adoption by the State Duma. The next session of the Council will be held on November 22.
What is known about the draft bill so far:
- Any foreign media that receives funding or property from abroad may need to register as a foreign agent.
- The amendments will not mention specific publications or TV channels.
- The decision to recognize a media publication as a foreign agent will be taken by the Ministry of Justice.
- The media that refuse to register will fall under the law on foreign agents- NGOs.
A working group was set up to draft legislative amendments that provide for retaliatory measures for Washington’s oppression of Russian media.
These amendments may affects the likes of Radio Liberty, Deutsche Welle, BBC, Voice of America, CNN.