Russian Federation brands nine media outlets 'foreign agents'

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USA officials protest the validity of Russia's actions, saying the Russian Federation law is far more stringent than FARA, and that Russian Federation uses its foreign agent legislation to silence opposing opinions and independent media, RFE/RL says.

The decision listed Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, both funded by the United States government, on a register of media "performing the functions of a foreign agent".

A vote on the measures is expected next week.

US intelligence officials accused the Kremlin of using Russian media it finances to influence USA voters, and Russian state broadcaster RT last month reluctantly complied with a US request to register a US -based affiliate as a "foreign agent" under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.

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

RT and the Sputnik news agency have been facing significant pressure in the United States over allegations of being involved in attempts to influence USA public life, including the 2016 presidential election.


A bill extending that law to media organisations sailed through both houses before President Vladimir Putin signed it last month.

But Mr Bihr told Sky News there were dangers it could be the beginning of further restrictions.

Other media outlets are not expected to be included on the foreign agents list, according to the State Sovereignty Protection Committee chairman, Andrey Klimov.

"This is very vague and it really opens the way to broad application", he said.

On Tuesday, the Russian Ministry of Justice published a list of nine outlets, which includes Russian-language 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. "We remain committed to accurate and comprehensive journalism".

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