Russia to amend law to classify U.S. media 'foreign agents'




  • In World
  • 2017-11-10 15:24:12Z
  • By By Polina Nikolskaya and Andrew Osborn
Journalists watch Russia
Journalists watch Russia's President Vladimir Putin on a big screen during his annual news conference in Moscow  

By Polina Nikolskaya and Andrew Osborn

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's parliament warned on Friday some U.S. and other foreign media could be declared "foreign agents" and obliged to regularly declare full details of their funding, finances and staffing.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma, said parliament could back legislation as early as next week in response to what lawmakers view as U.S. pressure on Russian media.

"Possible restrictions will be the same as those taken by the United States," Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

He said some U.S. media in Russia were trying to turn U.S. public opinion against Moscow.

"We understand that it's essential to protect the interests of our citizens and the country and we will do this in the same way as the country which lays claim to be the gold standard and mentor and which is constantly talking about freedom."

Russian lawmakers said the move was retaliation for a demand by the U.S. Department of Justice that Kremlin-backed TV station RT register in the United States as a "foreign agent", something Moscow has said it regards as an unfriendly act.

The U.S. action against RT came after U.S. intelligence agencies accused Russia of trying to interfere in last year's U.S. presidential election to help President Donald Trump win the White House, something Moscow has denied.

RUSSIAN ELECTION

Russia faces a presidential election next March. Vladimir Putin is widely expected to stand again and to win. He remains broadly popular though critics accuse him of suppressing dissent not least by tight control of domestic media.

Lawmakers will conduct a first reading of the new restrictions on Nov. 15 and try to complete approval in two further readings by the end of next week.

U.S. and any other foreign media that fall under the new restrictions could have to regularly disclose to Russian authorities full details of their funding, finances and staffing and might be obliged to say on their social media profiles and internet sites visible in Russia that they are "foreign agents".

The Duma earlier this year launched an investigation into whether CNN, Voice of America, Radio Liberty and "other American media" were complying with Russian law.

U.S. government-sponsored Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) said last month Moscow had threatened to brand their Russian language service projects "foreign agents" in retaliation for U.S. pressure on RT.

Russia said the same month it had dropped accusations against CNN International of violating Russian media law and that the U.S. channel could continue broadcasting in Russia.

San Francisco-based social network Twitter has also angered Russian authorities when it accused RT and the Sputnik news outlet of interfering in the 2016 U.S. election and banned them from buying ads on its network.

(Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Ralph Boulton)

COMMENTS

More Related News

U.S. attorney general orders probe of FBI agents
U.S. attorney general orders probe of FBI agents' text messages
  • US
  • 2018-01-23 21:57:02Z

By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered an investigation into missing text messages exchanged between two Federal Bureau of Investigation staffers who are accused of expressing views against President Donald Trump, the Justice Department has confirmed. Texts between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page exchanged between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017, are among a broader batch of missing phone messages that the FBI's system failed to store due to a software upgrade glitch on many Samsung 5 cell phones.

US Attorney General Sessions questioned in Russia probe
US Attorney General Sessions questioned in Russia probe

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned last week for several hours by investigators probing possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's election campaign, the Justice Department confirmed Tuesday. Sessions, who like Trump has repeatedly downplayed the idea that Russian

Tillerson points finger at Russia for Syrian chemical attack
Tillerson points finger at Russia for Syrian chemical attack

Raw video: Secretary of state says Russia 'bears responsibility' for Syria chemical weapon attacks.

Turkish Onslaught in Syria Gives Putin Another Victory Headache
Turkish Onslaught in Syria Gives Putin Another Victory Headache

It's only been a month since Russian President Vladimir Putin made a flying visit to Syria to declare victory in the civil war he helped turn around. Winning the peace -- or even preserving it -- already ...

UK not keeping up with Russia threat, head of army to warn
UK not keeping up with Russia threat, head of army to warn
  • World
  • 2018-01-22 00:41:05Z

Britain would struggle to match Russian military capabilities on the battlefield and risks falling further behind potential adversaries without more investment, the head of the army will warn Monday. In a rare public speech, Chief of the General Staff Nick Carter is expected to say that Russia is building

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.