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Russia's Justice Ministry to be in charge of foreign agents registry

December 04, 2017, 14:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The new law labels media outlets as foreign agents if they receive funding from abroad

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Russian Justice Ministry

Russian Justice Ministry

© Yuri Mashkov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 4. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended the powers of the Justice Ministry ordering it to be in charge of the registry of foreign mass media labeled as foreign agents.

The decree, signed on December 2, was published on Monday on the official legal information portal and has entered into force.

The ministry will take decisions on including or excluding foreign mass media from the registry.

On November 25, Putin signed into law the bill designating media outlets as foreign agents. The document was passed by the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) on November 15 and endorsed by the upper house, Federation Council, on November 22.

The law labels media outlets as foreign agents if they receive funding from abroad. After acquiring this status, these media outlets will be subject to the restrictions and responsibilities, which are currently envisaged for non-governmental organizations (NGO) labeled as foreign agents. They will also face the same responsibility as those NGOs for breaching the legislation.

This measure was a response to the demand of the US Department of Justice to RT America, a US branch of the Russian television company, to register as a foreign agent.

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