MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law the bill designating media outlets as foreign agents. The document passed by the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) on November 15 and endorsed by the upper house, Federation Council, on November 22, was published on the official portal of legal information on Saturday.
The law labels media outlets as foreign agents if they receive funding from abroad. After acquiring this status, these media outlets will be subject to the restrictions and responsibilities, which are currently envisaged for non-governmental organizations (NGO) labeled as foreign agents. They will also face the same responsibility as those NGOs for breaching the 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, but only foreign ones.