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Senate speaker assures Russia will not take cue from countries hindering media work

MOSCOW, July 6. /TASS/. Russia will not take its cue from the countries trying to hamper the work of unwanted media outlets, Russia’s media legislation is optimal, Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Valentina Matviyenko said on Thursday.

Answering a question from a TASS correspondent about her attitude towards other senators’ proposals about the possibility of additional legal restrictions up to blocking some foreign publications in Russia, Matviyenko said she does not support them. "I do not support such ideas," she noted.

"We will not take our cue from those countries whose authorities are trying to impede the activities of unwanted media and restrict freedom of speech. "Our legislation in this sphere is quite sufficient and optimal, and it is necessary to comply with it," the speaker emphasized, adding that, "if the existing laws are broken, appropriate measures should be taken."

"I am confident that we do not need new restrictions," Matviyenko concluded.

Head of the Federation Council’s temporary commission on protecting national sovereignty and preventing interference in Russia’s internal affairs, Andrei Klimov, earlier said that senators are working on the possibility of blocking foreign media outlets in Russia for breaking the country’s legislation. In addition to that, they are considering the issue of giving the Russian Ministry of Justice the right to conduct an investigation to establish the source of funding of some media outlets registered in Russia. If foreign sources and signs of activity in the interests of another country are found, such media outlets will have to give an account of its activities in accordance with the foreign agent law.

The parliamentarian explained that these measures could be used as a tit-for-tat response to attempts to persecute Russia media abroad.