Putin Signs Bill Targeting US Media in Russian Federation

A media outlet will be deemed a foreign agent if it gets money from other countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Saturday a new bill designating worldwide media outlets as foreign agents in retaliation for a similar measure taken by the U.S. Department of Justice against the state-funded RT television. The document was published on the official legal information portal.

Andrey Klishas, chairman of the Russian Federation Council's committee for constitutional legislation and state construction, said the law does not violate constitutional rights, according to TASS. The bill comes into effect on the day it is officially published.

It said it had written to the USA government-sponsored Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), along with seven separate Russian or local-language news outlets run by RFE/RL.

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The new document introduces amendments to two federal laws on information and media in Russian Federation.

US intelligence officials have accused the Kremlin of using Russian media organizations it finances to influence USA voters, and Washington has since required Russian state broadcaster RT to register a US -based affiliate company as a "foreign agent".

The new law was passed due to Russia Today and Sputnik kerfuffle.

FARA requires "persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities". RT's editor-in-chief visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in August 2013, where they discussed renewing his broadcast contract with RT, according to Russian and Western media.

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