Russian Federation names 9 media organizations as foreign agents, including Voice of America

Frederick Owens
December 6, 2017

The ministry further listed Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and several of its affiliates, after warning last month they could be affected.

The list also includes the Kavkaz.Realii, Krym Realii and Sibir Realii websites, the Current Time TV channel - a joint project of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty - the Radio Liberty-owned factograph.info website and IdelRealii project.

The ministry statement did not mention any specific restrictions on the media outlets.

Russian lawmakers said the legislation was in retaliation for U.S. action against the U.S. affiliates of Russian state-sponsored media RT and Sputnik, which were required to register under the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

RT disputes that it is an agent of the Russian government, arguing that it offers alternatives to mainstream news coverage, and Russian leaders have vowed to respond in kind. "Definitely not", the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman said.

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Russia's law on foreign agents, which in the past has been used on non-governmental organisations critical of the Kremlin, requires the organisations to label their publications as coming from a foreign agent.

No access to Duma for "foreign agents"? "Our measures were completely reciprocal in response to the oppression of the Russian media in the USA, and if nothing new happens from that [US] side, we have no reason to expand this list", Klimov said.

"We remain committed to continuing our journalistic work in the interest of providing accurate and objective news to our Russian speaking audience", he said.

Klimov also restated Moscow's position that this was a "mirrored response" to the steps taken by the US Justice Department.

"The Justice Ministry has singled out the outlets of the U.S. state propaganda, which systematically broadcast state propaganda 24 hours a day in languages spoken in Russian Federation", he said.

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