Russians React To ‘Foreign Agent’ Media Law
Russian lawmakers intend to give US media status &# 171; foreign agent&# 187;
The leadership of the State Duma announced plans for the soonest adoption of a law with such a norm
MOSCOW – The State Duma of Russia within the next week will consider and adopt in all three readings amendments to the legislation, according to which foreign media in Russia will be required to register as a “foreign agent”.
This was announced in a conversation with journalists on November 10, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin. “We will try to submit a proposal to the Council of the Duma (November 14), which we will consider on Wednesday (November 15) at a plenary session, and we have the opportunity to adopt this norm in the form of a law within a week,” the speaker of the State Duma said.
The Chairman of the House of the Russian Parliament said that this measure will be a response to the demand of the US authorities for RT to register as a “foreign agent” in the United States: “Possible restrictions that will be introduced will be adopted by analogy with the United States.”.
Earlier, RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan stated such a demand, adding that the TV channel will be forced to comply with this demand, but will appeal it in court..
Viacheslav Volodin believes that in the USA, through registration as a “foreign agent”, pressure is exerted on the media: “This is not only financial statements, which involves dozens of questions and, accordingly, answers to them when receiving funds, it involves the disclosure of all information … total control, absolute supervision by the Ministry of Justice, financial departments. They (the norms of the law on “foreign agents” in the USA – SI) are very strict; they allow making decisions that restrict freedom of speech and, in general, not only impede the actions of the media and the dissemination of information ”.
At the same time, the State Duma speaker added that although “we are talking about a symmetrical response”, it will not concern individuals: “Our law is more liberal, our law does not include such issues as media regulation, how generally falling under this law individuals “.
Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Pyotr Tolstoy, for his part, said that he does not expect any punitive measures against the media: “Each media outlet today has its own pages on social networks, where their news, articles and videos are also published. The law should provide that on these pages, the media recognized as foreign agents will also have to indicate the relevant information. That’s all”.
Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Justice sent a warning to several US media outlets operating in Russian about the possibility of restricting their activities in Russia. As the head of the Federation Council Commission for the Protection of State Sovereignty Andrei Klimov said yesterday, restrictions may affect the activities of Voice of America and Radio Liberty.