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By Sheetal Sukhija | Thursday November 16, 2017
In response to U.S., Russia tightens rules for foreign media
In what came as an apparent response to the U.S., Russian authorities on Wednesday, decided to tighten their stranglehold on press freedom for foreign media organizations operating in the country. In a 414-0 vote, Russian lawmakers passed a legislation allowing authorities to force any foreign media organization to register as a “foreign agent” under penalty of fines or a possible ban on operations in Russia. The legislation adopted by Russia's State Duma or the lower house of parliament came in retaliation for the reluctant registration of English-language Russian news network RT under similar legislation in the U.S. Reports noted that the legislation was drafted hastily and will likely be signed into law by Russian President Vladi­mir Putin by the end of the month. The country’s state media Tass said, "A total of 409 lawmakers out of 450 voted for the amendments, no one voted against them or abstained.” Earlier this week, the U.S. Justice Department announced, “Americans have a right to know who is acting in the United States to influence the U.S. government or public on behalf of foreign principals." The company said in its filing that while it gets a "substantial" amount of its money from Russia's government, it does not attempt to influence political discourse.” After the bill was passed by one chamber of parliament, Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said, “Any encroachment on the freedom of Russian media abroad is not and won't be left without a strong condemnation and a tit-for-tat response of Moscow.”...Read more