MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. Foreign media outlets interfering in Russia’s affairs particularly through publications concerning the recent unauthorized rallies in Moscow may be barred from working in the country, Head of the United Russia party’s parliamentary faction and State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Deputy Speaker Sergei Neverov said in response to a TASS question on Friday.
"If there are media outlets that publish such reports seeking to influence our domestic affairs and incite [people] to transgress the law, [retaliatory measures] may include bans on working in Russia and statements from the Foreign Ministry," the parliamentarian said.
Neverov confirmed that members of the United Russia party had backed the opposition’s initiative to consider the situation "around foreign interference in domestic elections." "It will certainly require the State Duma to discuss what is going on in the country and why other countries are trying to meddle in these processes," he noted. "We need to engage the State Duma’s security committee," Neverov added.
When asked about how these activities corresponded with those of the Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Interim Commission for the Protection of State Sovereignty and the Prevention of Interference in Russia's Internal Affairs, the Duma deputy speaker pointed out that the Commission "deals not only with election-related issues but also with matters concerning the actions of other countries and organizations that seek to intervene in Russia’s domestic processes." "As for us, we are responding to recent developments," he explained.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier that the ministry would send official notes to the US and Germany in connection with attempts to interfere in Russia’s domestic affairs on the part of their diplomats and state media following the August 3 unauthorized rally in Moscow. She mentioned Germany’s Deutsche Welle among the media outlets that had made such attempts.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned Beate Grzeski, the Charge d’Affaires at the German Embassy in Moscow, to emphasize that Deutsche Welle’s calls for Moscow residents to take to the streets in unauthorized rallies were unacceptable. On Friday, the ministry reprimanded a US diplomat for publishing information about the August 3 unauthorized rally on the embassy’s website.