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Russian upper house approves cutting foreign ownership of mass media

October 01, 2014, 15:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
If signed by the president, the bill will come into force on January 1, 2016
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© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. Russia’s Federation Council, the parliament’s upper house, approved on Wednesday a bill imposing a 20% limit for foreign interest in the capital of mass media both directly and indirectly and banning foreigners from establishing mass media in the country.

The existing law does not limit foreign ownership in printed and network editions, and a 50% threshold is stipulated for television and radio assets.

If approved, the bill will come into force on January 1, 2016. Under the document, mass media owners must draw all its corporate activities in compliance with the law by February 1, 2017, and new documents on owners and founders must be filed to the communications watchdog by February 15, 2017.

In case of violations, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media will go to court to make the mass media suspend operations.

The document says that the limit on foreign interest in mass media is imposed if nothing else is stipulated by an international agreement concluded by the country.

To become law, the bill must be further signed by the president.

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