Russian MPs ban USA media from parliament

  • Russian MPs ban USA media from parliament

Russian MPs ban USA media from parliament

Russian lawmakers have passed a motion officially barring reporters working for media outlets recognized as foreign agents from entering the lower house of the country's parliament as a symmetrical response to sanctions applied to RT in the US. Under the law, outlets could be required to disclose to Russian authorities details of their funding, editorial policy, financial activities, and management, according to press reports.

In a statement, the ministry listed, in accordance with the law on mass media, several outlets as "foreign agents".

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law last month the measures in response to what Moscow says is unacceptable U.S. pressure on Russian media.

Russia's ban comes six days after the USA withdrew congressional press credentials from the Russian government-funded broadcaster RT, stating rules that the U.S. can not allow outlets employed "by any foreign government or representative thereof".

The statement comes after a US association of journalists who report on Congress voted to revoke the press credentials of the Kremlin-funded RT news channel.

Klimov also restated Moscow's position that this was a "mirrored response" to the steps taken by the US Justice Department. The law applies to any foreign organizations that operate with or without registering as a company if they are engaged in putting out printed, audio, audio-visual, or any other content prepared for an unlimited group of people. In retaliation, Russian Federation adopted a bill that allows the government to designate global media outlets as foreign agents.

US intelligence agencies have alleged that RT served as a tool for the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Russian officials have called the new legislation a "symmetrical response" to what they describe as USA pressure on Russian media. The MPs said that the restrictive measures may be lifted in case of abolishment of the corresponding decisions to restrict Russian media in the American parliament.