Russia is moving ahead with legislation that threatens U.S. press outlets operating in the country.
The lower house of Russia’s parliament approved an amendment Wednesday that clears just how for media outlets that receive funding from overseas to be designated as foreign agents.
The measure must visit the upper residence of parliament before being signed by President Vladimir Putin.
It’s the first tangible response to a good move by the U.S. Department of Justice to need the firm that makes the U.S. branch of Russian television network RT to register beneath the Foreign Agents Registration Action.
For weeks Russian government officials, including Putin, have promised a tit for tat response targeting American outlets operating in the united states.
Related: Russian foreign ministry says retaliation against U.S. media could start next week
The measure approved Wednesday does not specify which media outlets will be specified as foreign agents, or how the process would work.
According to the draft legislation, press outlets designated while foreign agents will be at the mercy of the same rules that currently apply to foreign-funded non-governmental institutions. Those groups are required to report on their funding, include a “foreign agent” disclaimer in content they publish and so are at the mercy of inspections by authorities.
In the U.S., outlets designated as foreign agents must file reviews with the Justice Department regarding their funding and organization, along with regular updates on their activities.
U.S. investigators happen to be reportedly looking into whether Russian government-funded outlets such as for example RT and Sputnik had been component of Russia’s influence plan aimed at the 2016 presidential election. Yahoo Reports features reported that the FBI features interviewed a former Sputnik correspondent about his just work at the website.
RT was singled out by the U.S. intelligence network in a January statement for the effects it may experienced on the 2016 election.
The report said that RT “conducts strategic messaging for [the] Russian government” and “seeks to influence politics, [and] fuel discontent in the U.S.” It also labeled another Russian-government-managed website, Sputnik, as “another government-funded outlet creating pro-Kremlin radio and on-line content.”
RT features said it is merely a media group which presents media from a Russian point of view.
— Antonia Mortensen and Fred Pleitgen contributed reporting from Moscow.