Kremlin to Target All Foreign Media Amid U.S. ‘Foreign Agent’ Spat

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 13, 2017)

All international media outlets in Russia could be hit with new restrictions as part of an escalating media tit-for-tat between Moscow and the United States.

The Kremlin’s RT news network agreed to register as a foreign agent in the U.S. by Monday following U.S. allegations it interfered in the 2016 presidential election. President Vladimir Putin warned the Kremlin would retaliate against U.S. media working in Russia in response.

Russia could hit back at all foreign media and not just U.S.-based outlets in retaliation, the Vedomosti business daily reported Monday.

Russian lawmakers last week named U.S. outlets CNN, Voice of America, Radio Liberty and its “Current Time” television channels as likely targets of Moscow’s retaliation, saying the State Duma could pass the new restrictions on the news organizations as early as this week.

On Sunday, Russia’s business daily Vedomosti reported that the measures would affect all foreign outlets, citing State Duma Information Policy chairman Leonid Levin.

The new sanctions would be codified in amendments to Russia’s law on “undesirable organizations,” according to the newspaper’s source.

The State Duma announced on Friday that lawmakers and experts were also drafting amendments to the 2012 foreign agent law to include media organizations. The law requires NGOs that receive foreign funding to register as “foreign agents” and display the label on all their literature and websites.