MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Federation Council lawmaker Oleg Morozov has told Sputnik that three projects of Radio Svoboda, Russian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, as well as CNN could be recognized as foreign agents in Russia.
However, according to Alexey Pushkov, the head of Russia’s Federation Council commission on information policy, Russian restrictive measures in response to RT America's forced registration as a foreign agent in the United States in the wake of the Justice Department's demand are unlikely to target CNN, though from the legal point of view the broadcaster is subject to the Foreign Agent Law.
Минюст направил уведомление о новом законе о СМИ-иноагентах "Голосу Америки","Радио Свободе", телеканалу "Настоящее время". Логичный выбор.
— Алексей Пушков (@Alexey_Pushkov) November 15, 2017
Russian Justice Ministry notified Voice of America, Radio Svoboda and Current Time TV about the new Foreign Agent Law. Logical choice.
Lawmakers have stressed that adoption of the amendments to the Foreign Agent Law is a symmetrical response to the pressure on Russian media in the US.
Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan commenting on the words of the US official said that by adopting a law Moscow was learning transparency from US colleagues and that the State Department, "which has been telling us [Russia] what to do for such a long period of time", should be "happy" about it.
According to a source in Russia's Justice Ministry cited by RIA Novosti, Moscow sent a notification to the US broadcaster Voice of America (VOA), some services of Radio Svoboda, joint project of Radio Svoboda and VOA — Current Time TV — and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty a about the adoption by the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, of amendments to Russian laws envisioning the possibility of recognizing some foreign media outlets as foreign agents in Russia.
In order to come into force the bill has to be brought to Russia's upper house of parliament for approval and then be signed by the president.
RT's Registration Under FARA
Moscow vowed to respond to the demand issued by the US Department of Justice for RT America's registration under FARA by November 13, with the Russian Foreign Ministry calling the move an "unfriendly step."
On Monday, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan announced that RT America had registered as a foreign agent in the United States to comply with the demand, explaining that the broadcaster was choosing between a criminal case and registration.
Commenting on Russia's response measures, the Kremlin spokesman has stated that any violations against Russian journalists "shall not remain unanswered."