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Russia’s upper house endorses foreign agent media law

The law labels media outlets as foreign agents if they receive funding from abroad

MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. Russia’s Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, approved during its session on Wednesday a law designating media outlets as foreign agents.

A total of 154 senators voted in favor of the document, and one abstained.

On November 15, Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, passed in the third and final reading the law, which labels media outlets as foreign agents if they receive funding from abroad. The law will enter into force after it is signed by the president.

After acquiring this status, these media outlets will be subject to the restrictions and responsibilities, which are currently envisaged for non-governmental organizations labeled as foreign agents. They will also face a similar responsibility for such NGOs for breaching this legislation.

This measure was a response to the demand of the US Department of Justice to RT America, a US branch of the Russian television company, to register as a foreign agent.

Andrey Klishas, who chairs the upper house’s committee for constitutional legislation and state construction, said the law does not violate constitutional rights. According to the senator, the law does not introduce censorship, but enshrines additional obligations for mass media outlets designated as foreign agents. He stressed that the law does not target Russian media outlets.