Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Russian Federation names 9 media organizations as foreign agents, including Voice of America

Russian Federation names 9 media organizations as foreign agents, including Voice of America

Russian Federation has declared nine U.S. media outlets, including Voice of America and Radio Liberty, to be foreign agents, the BBC reports.

Kremlin-funded RT television was registered with the U.S. Justice Department last month as a foreign agent following a demand from Washington.

Russia's Justice Ministry published a list of nine outlets, which includes subsidiaries of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that cover the Caucasus region of Russia, Crimea, Siberia, and two predominantly Muslim regions in central Russia, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan.

By law, the nine media organisations listed by the Russian justice ministry will have to brand their output as the work of "foreign agents" - and disclose their source of funding. Earlier, RT, formerly known as Russia Today, was required to register as a "foreign agent", setting off plans to take a similar measure against US media in Moscow.

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"Our countermeasures should be mirror-like and precisely targeted".

USA officials say the action is not symmetrical, arguing that the US and Russian laws are different and that Russia uses its "foreign-agent" legislation to silence dissent and discourage a free exchange of ideas.

Meanwhile, reports from Duma indicated that Russian lawmakers were preparing to revoke press credentials to VOA and RFE/RL reporters. The law comes in response to the US Congress's moves towards RT America. A similar move is expected from the Federation Council, or the upper house.

"I can not pre-indicate the outcome of the vote, but with the atmosphere surrounding the issue, it hard to imagine that the Council would not approve such a measure", said the ruling party lawmaker.

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