MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. Russia’s Justice Ministry has designated nine mass media outlets as foreign agents, the press service told TASS on Tuesday.
The media, which perform the functions of foreign agents, are Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Current Time TV, the Tatar-Bashkir service of Radio Liberty (Azatliq Radiosi), Sibir. Realii, regional project Idel. Realii, Factograf project, Kavkaz. Realii and Krym. Realii, the ministry said.
On November 25, Putin signed into law the bill designating media outlets as foreign agents. The document was passed by the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) on November 15 and endorsed by the upper house, Federation Council, on November 22.
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.