MOSCOW, November 15./TASS/. The Russian Justice Ministry has notified Voice of America in connection with State Duma’s passing a foreign agent media law, warning of possible restrictions under the law, a ministry source has told TASS.
"The ministry sent a notification to Voice of America that the State Duma passed amendments to the Russian legislation, envisaging the possibility of designating some foreign media outlets operating in Russia as foreign agents," the source said.
"The letter notes, in particular, that the signs of a foreign agent’s activity can be seen in work of Voice of America, and therefore restrictions envisaged by the Russian legislation can be applied to it," the source said.
The State Duma (the lower house of Russia’s parliament) voted at its meeting on Wednesday to adopt unanimously in its third and final reading a bill that would designate media outlets as foreign agents, if they are funded from abroad.
The document was supported by 414 lawmakers, with no votes against the bill and no abstentions.
After acquiring this status, these media outlets will be subject to the restrictions and responsibilities, which are currently envisaged for non-governmental organizations designated as foreign agents. They will also be facing similar responsibility for the breach of legislation.
This move comes as a response to the demand by the US Department of Justice that the US branch of Russia’s RT television channel, RT America, should register as a foreign agent.