Russia’s State Duma has adopted in the third final reading an amendment that allows it to treat media outlets funded by foreign countries as foreign agents, with the Ministry of Justice set to make decision on the issue.
The amendments were added to the draft law on extrajudicial blocking of organizations’ websites banned in Russia which was adopted in October.
The amendments were developed by a working group led by deputy speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, Pyotr Tolstoy. Tolstoy said that “the decision to extend the regulations of the Foreign Agents Law is forced.” He added that it would not affect the freedom of press in Russia.
RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan announced that in order to avoid shutting down on the territory of the US the RT broadcaster has agreed to comply with the demand of the US Department of Justice to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Simonyan says that because the US does not want to violate its own press laws, the US authorities are creating conditions that make it impossible for RT to work in the country. The pressure against RT has led to mass resignations in the broadcaster’s US office and difficulties in finding new staff.