Russian Federation to list USA media as 'foreign agents'

06 December, 2017, 01:01 | Author: Brenda Erickson
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The ministry further listed Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and several of its affiliates, after warning last month they could be affected.

The affiliates include Radio Free Europe's news outlets dedicated to Crimea, which Russian Federation annexed from Ukraine, and a television channel run jointly by Radio Free Europe and Voice of America called Current Time TV.

The ministry statement did not mention any specific restrictions on the media outlets.

Russian media reported on Monday that the Justice Ministry could begin listing worldwide media outlets as "foreign agents" as early as this week.

"The Duma decision might be looked upon as censorship or infringement of the rights of American journalists here but we understand that we have to make such decisions because the Congress has made such a decision in regards to RT", Duma deputy speaker Pyotr Tolstoy told The Washington Post on Monday.

Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan on her Telegram account said that "the Department of State has taught us [Russia] that foreign agent laws serve only the ideals of transparency".

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Under that law, "foreign agents" must include in any information they publish or broadcast to Russian audiences a mention of their "foreign agent" designation. "But we have to respond to it". The Russian government recently designated a union of truckers protesting highway tolls as a foreign agent. "Our measures were completely reciprocal in response to the oppression of the Russian media in the U.S., and if nothing new happens from that [US] side, we have no reason to expand this list", Klimov said.

"We remain committed to continuing our journalistic work in the interest of providing accurate and objective news to our Russian speaking audience", he said.

Zakharova added that only "mirror measures" would be taken.

The document recommends that legislatures in Russian regions adopt similar bans against Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and their affiliates.

On November 13, RT America registered as a foreign agent in the United States upon the demand of the US Justice Department, which according to Simonyan, put the broadcaster at a disadvantage compared to other foreign outlets working in the United States.

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