Interfax: Russian Justice Ministry to recognize media outlets as foreign agents – Tolstoy

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – The Justice Ministry will recognize media outlets as foreign agents consistent with proposed legislative amendments, State Duma Vice-Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy, who supervises the working group preparing countermeasures against the U.S. restrictions on the activity of Russia media outlets, told reporters on Tuesday.

“An executive agency will recognize [a media outlet as a foreign agent]. Of course, the executive agency in the person of the Russian Justice Ministry will hardly recognize the Interfax or TASS news agencies, which have subscribers abroad, as foreign agents,” Tolstoy said.

He read out the full text of the amendment as follows: “A legal entity registered in a foreign country or a foreign institution which has no legal-entity status, which distributes audio, audio-visual and other types of messages and materials for the general public, may be recognized as a foreign media outlet acting as foreign agents irrespective of the type of ownership and legal form, in the event that it receive funds or other assets from foreign countries, government agencies of such countries, international organizations, foreign citizens, stateless persons or their proxies, or from Russian legal entities receiving funds or other assets from aforesaid sources.”

Tolstoy explained that the amendment referred to foreign media outlets rather than news offices.

The Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies, and Communications, Leonid Levin, told reporters that the committee would meet at 4 p.m. on Tuesday to consider the amendment.