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Russian State Duma eyeing fines as high as $85,000 for violating foreign agent media law

November 29, 2017, 11:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On November 22, Russia’s Federation Council approved a bill concerning foreign media outlets acting as foreign agents

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© Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. A draft amendment into the Russian Code of Administrative Offences, which stipulates fines of up to $85,000 for violating the foreign agent media law, has been submitted to the State Duma (lower house of parliament). The amendment was drawn up by head of the Duma Committee for State Construction and Legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov and chairman of the Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for Constitutional Legislation and State Construction Andrei Klishas.

According to the draft amendment, a new provision is supposed to be added to the Code of Administrative Offences, addressing "violations of regulations concerning the activities of foreign media outlets acting as foreign agents or Russian legal entities established by them and acting as foreign agents." The maximum liability will be applied to those grossly violating the relevant regulations, which will entail a fine of 100,000 rubles ($1,700) or an arrest of up to 15 days for individuals, while officials may face a fine of 200,000 ($3,400), and legal entities will have to pay a fine of five million rubles ($85,000).

Foreign agent media law

On November 22, Russia’s Federation Council approved a bill concerning foreign media outlets acting as foreign agents. President Vladimir Putin signed the bill into law on November 25.

The document stipulates that media outlets may be declared foreign agents in case they receive funding from abroad. After being declared foreign agents, media outlets will be subject to restrictions imposed on non-profit organizations acting as foreign agents. They would also be held accountable for the violations of the law.

The law was adopted in response to the demand made by the United States Department of Justice that the US branch of Russia’s RT TV channel register as a foreign agent.

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