In response to US, Putin signs bill targeting foreign media

In response to US, Putin signs bill targeting foreign media

In response to US, Putin signs bill targeting foreign media

Earlier on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law the bill on the mass media outlets designated as foreign agents.

Two weeks ago, RT was pressured by the U.S. Justice Department to formally register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA, or face the likelihood it would be shut down.

In 1938, the Congress passed the Foreign Agent Registration Act in an effort to curb the amount of German propaganda circulating in the United States.

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". It was particularly accused of spreading false information during the 2016 presidential election.

Without even waiting for the law to come into effect, Russia's Justice Ministry last week warned US government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, along with its regional outlets, that they could be designated as foreign agents under the new law. RT complied, according RU Chief Editor Margarita Simonyan's November 13 statement.

The lower and upper houses of Russia's parliament approved the bill on November 15 and November 22, respectively. It will now allow Moscow to force foreign media to brand news they provide to Russians as the work of "foreign agents" and to disclose their funding sources.

Earlier this month, Zakharova suggested that "a practical phase of these response measures" against US media in Russian Federation were set to begin within a week.

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