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MOSCOW, January 11 (Itar-Tass) — A draft law will be worked out by the end of next week to ban persons who have foreign citizenship from working in state media and discrediting Russia and its authorities, the head of the group of deputies for cooperation of civil society institutions with law enforcement authorities and security services, Mikhail Starshinov (United Russia), told reporters on Friday, commenting on the reports in the press about the initiative called by reporters "the Pozner law".
"I think the work on the document will be completed by the end of next week," the lawmaker said.
"The main aim is to ban persons who have foreign citizenship from working in state mass media and at the same time systematically discrediting Russia and its bodies of power," he said.
The fact that representatives of all the parties in the State Duma in late December signed a letter addressed to Pozner, expressing their attitude to his scandal statement, is a rare or even unprecedented event, Starshinov noted.
About two weeks have passed since then, but instead of a natural response – apologies and admission of his mistake, there are strange statements from Pozner, who is almost celebrating his "victory over deputies", the legislator said.
A "slip of the tongue" such as that of the journalist would hardly be forgiven in the West, and he would have been expelled from his job long ago, Starshinov believes.
Nobody tries to ban criticism. It is necessary. But insults and outright boorishness are inadmissible, the lawmaker noted.
Earlier, deputies from all the four parties in the Duma were outraged over the statement of known television journalist Vladimir Pozner (he has citizenship of three countries – Russia, the United States and France), who criticized the ban on Americans to adopt children in Russia, which is imposed in response to the Magnitsky Act". Andrei Lugovoi (LDPR), Mikhail Starshinov (United Russia), Oleg Denisenko (CPRF) and Igor Zotov (formally belonging to Just Russia and a member of the so-called group of independent deputies) wrote a letter to the journalist. They said that recently in one of his reports he stated that State Duma deputies exposed the country to ridicule and called the supreme legislative body a "fool". And he pretended that it was a slip of his tongue. But the content and the tone of his statements made them question the sincerity of his explanations, the lawmakers said in the letter. According to the deputies, it is time to consider whether it is reasonable that foreign citizens work on federal state-supported television channels when they make statements and are engaged in activities aimed at discrediting Russia and authorities.