Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Russian Federation designates nine USA media organizations as 'foreign agents'

Russian Federation designates nine USA media organizations as 'foreign agents'

In another retaliatory move, a handful of the 23 US media accredited in Russian Federation could lose their access to the State Duma, Zakharova said Monday, The Moscow Times reports.

Russian officials said the moves were retaliatory, and they were described by state sovereignty protection committee chairman Andrey Klimov as "completely reciprocal in response to the oppression of the Russian media in the US".

The moves come as Moscow follows through on its promise to retaliate for similar United States actions against the English-language Russian network RT, which Russian leaders characterise as an assault on freedom of the press.

Moscow's response was widely trailed.

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Russia's justice ministry will start registering some foreign media as "foreign agents" this week, the RIA news agency reports, citing a source in the Russian upper house of parliament.

"So far the full nature of these limitations is unknown", said Kent. The law leaves it to the Russian Justice Ministry to single them out.

VOA Director Amanda Bennett told Reuters her organisation also thought it was unclear what new curbs it would face.

One official said if the US halts its crackdown on Russian media, the government may consider amending its decision.

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"Do you know that these media outlets, one of which is trying to persuade the Crimeans to return to Ukraine, the second one is focused on the Tatars and Bashkirs, the third one targets the people from the Caucasus and the fourth one, which has been recently launched, focusing on Siberia, are financed by the State Department?"

They can be subject to spot checks by the authorities to make sure they comply with the rules, according to the 2012 law, which has forced some NGOs to close.

A general view shows the headquarters of Russia's Justice Ministry in Moscow, Russia Dec. 4, 2017.

In addition to RFE's and VOA's main news operations, the other affected sites are six of RFE's Russian regional news outlets and Factograph, a joint RFE/VOA Russian language fact-checking site.

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