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Russian Parliament To Bar US Media Named Foreign Agents
06 December 2017, 01:02 | Darnell Patrick
Russia names 9 media organizations as foreign agents, including Voice of America
In a video statement, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty President Tom Kent said it was unclear how the organisation would be affected by the moves and that it would "study carefully" communications from Russian Federation. The ban also includes the Current Time television station, which is produced by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and factograph.info, a website produced by Radio Liberty.
The ministry statement did not mention any specific restrictions on the media outlets.
Russia's justice ministry will start registering some foreign media as "foreign agents" this week, the RIA news agency reports, citing a source in the Russian upper house of parliament.
Russian officials said the moves were retaliatory, and they were described by state sovereignty protection committee chairman Andrey Klimov as "completely reciprocal in response to the oppression of the Russian media in the US". "Definitely not", the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman said. "But we have to respond to it". The Russian government recently designated a union of truckers protesting highway tolls as a foreign agent.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law in November empowering the government to designate media outlets receiving funding from overseas as "foreign agents" and impose sanctions against them.
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On Tuesday, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty quoted its president, Thomas Kent, as saying he had received no details about what the foreign agent designation will mean. "We remain committed to accurate and comprehensive journalism".
Russian leaders say that in the drama surrounding RT, they are the ones defending free speech.
At the same time, Zakharova added that Russian Federation "is particularly determined to maintain constructive relations with the United States".
In the USA, a committee governing Capitol Hill access for broadcast journalists withdrew credentials for Russia's state-funded RT television after it complied with a US demand that it register as a foreign agent.
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