Interfax: State Duma sees no need to enquire with authorities about compliance by Voice of America, Radio Liberty, CNN with Russian laws

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. April 18 (Interfax) – The State Duma committee for information policy, information technologies and communications will not be asking federal authorities to provide information on whether the Russian offices of the Voice of America, Radio Liberty and CNN comply with the Russian elections laws, the Committee has decided to confine itself to a discussion of this issue at an enlarged meeting with experts, Committee head Leonid Levin said.

“We decided not to go down the formalistic path and not to request dry papers from state authorities; today we see no need for this yet,” Levin told journalists on Tuesday after a Committee meeting that involved deputies, political analysts and experts.

The discussion was prompted by an instruction from the State Duma which on March 17 backed United Russia deputy Konstantin Zatulin’s protocol instruction calling for the Russian services of said news outlets to be checked for compliance with Russian laws.

The Voice of America, Radio Liberty and CNN are part of a large-scale U.S. scheme to put pressure on Russia, the head of the committee said at the start of the discussion. Each deputy, should they wish to, may request additional information from one government agency or other, and the same is true of the topic discussed today, the parliamentarian told journalists after the meeting.

The issue raised by Zatulin was discussed at the meeting more broadly than was initially expected, with the attendees being able to gain “insight into what challenges exist and how serious they are,” the head of the committee said.

All the information presented at the meeting will be analyzed, the Committee will prepare a report and hand it over to State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and Zatulin, Levin said.