State Duma deputy from the United Russia party backs down on his initiative to award a “foreign agent” status to foreign-sponsored media. Yevgeny Fyodorov did not recall his bill from the Duma, but asked to suspend its consideration. The initiative is still in the electronic base of the Russian lower house of parliament marked by a “recalled bill” tag.
A week ago the Russian parliament has approved the bill that grants the status of a foreign agent to externally-funded non-profit organizations involved in political activities. The lawmakers then came up with an initiative to extend “foreign agent” label from NPOs to media.
Under the bill mass media would have to register as “foreign agents” in case they are receiving financing or property from foreign states. Fyodorov specified, however, that he talked of “political” money, meaning the law would be applicable to media only if their financing is “engaged in the interests of foreign sources”.
The readings of the bill on the NPOs sparked protests among oppositional activists and media figures. Some oppositional lawmakers boycotted the voting in the State Duma.