Vladimir Putin signs new Russian law for foreign media outlets

Nov 27, 2017, 00:42
Vladimir Putin signs new Russian law for foreign media outlets

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill into law allowing Russia to register worldwide media outlets as foreign agents. On November 15, the third and final reading of the bill was approved by Russia's lower house of parliament, State Duma.

The text allows to classify all global media operating in Russian Federation under the name of the controversial "agent of a foreign" on the decision of the ministry of Justice.

Two weeks ago, RT was pressured by the U.S. Justice Department to formally register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA, or face the likelihood it would be shut down.

The act was denounced by the Council for human rights with the Kremlin, which said in a press release that " any foreign media could be qualified as a foreign agent in an arbitrary manner by the ministry of Justice ". Russian media subsequently announced that RT had become "the only Russian media company" to partner with WikiLeaks and had received access to "new leaks of secret information".

In September, Maria Zakharova, director of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that the USA should anticipate pushback for its actions against state-funded Russian media.

Intelligence agencies have accused the Kremlin of financing and using Russian media organisations to influence voters. The U.S.government had singled out RT because it accepted operating payments from a Russian government entity called ANO TV-Novosti. "Its application will begin with the USA media, but if Europeans will resort to the same practices against Russian media as the United States does, they will receive a similar answer".

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