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Russia’s ruling party backs cutting foreign media ownership

September 22, 2014, 14:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Proposed legislation would debar overseas individuals or companies from setting up their own media outlets in Russia and from owning more than 20% of any business in broadcasting or print media
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Deputy speaker of the State Duma Sergei Zheleznyak

Deputy speaker of the State Duma Sergei Zheleznyak

© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, September 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s ruling United Russia party will support a bill to restrict foreign ownership in the country’s media, Sergei Zheleznyak, deputy speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament told journalists on Monday.

Proposed legislation, introduced by deputies from Russia's Communist Party, Just Russia and the Liberal Democratic Party, would debar overseas individuals or companies from setting up their own media outlets in Russia and from owning more than 20% of any business in broadcasting or print media. Restrictions would apply equally to Russians who have dual citizenship and non-citizen residents.

If passed, the bill will go into force on January 1, 2016 but stakeholders will have until February 1, 2017 to bring ownership into line with regulations.

To become law, the bill must be passed in three readings in the lower house of parliament before being approved by parliament's upper house and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin. The bill goes before Duma deputies on September 23.

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