16:43 GMT28 January 2020
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    The proposal, which emphasizes that the Russian measures are being taken as a mirror response to stripping RT broadcaster of accreditation in the US Congress, was supported earlier by the Parliament's Committee on Rules and Organization.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the lower house's on-line database, a draft resolution stipulating a ban on visiting the lower house of the Russian parliament by representatives of the US media outlets recognized as "foreign agents" was introduced in the Parliament on Monday.

    Meantime, Moscow is surprised by the fact that the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) has no questions regarding US legislation on foreign agents being applied to Russian media, Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

    In her address to the Russian lower house of parliament, Zakharova spoke about Harlem Desir, the OSCE representative on freedom of the media, and his visit to Russia two weeks ago. Desir held several meetings with representatives of Russian media outlets and officials to discuss a number of issues, including the Russian foreign agent media law. According to the spokeswoman, during a meeting with Russian senior lawmaker Alexey Pushkov, Desir was provided with Russia's "vision of the situation."

    "He partially agreed with the situation, but at the same time, when directly asked if he had contacted the US side to express, in one way or another… his attitude, he said he did not. This, of course, cannot cause any other [feeling] but surprise," Zakharova said Monday.

    The spokeswoman also stressed that Russia was engaged in regular cooperation with the OSCE and was sending it letters describing in detail all cases where the rights of Russian media have been violated.

    In November, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that would allow foreign media funded from abroad to be labeled as foreign agents in Russia. The law came as a tit-for-tat response to the measures taken by the United States to pressure Russian media.

    On November 29, RT America received a letter from The Executive Committee of the Congress Radio & Television Correspondents’ Galleries, the congressional press office, informing that its accreditation on Capitol Hill has been withdrawn, citing the company’s “foreign agent” status.

    The RT broadcaster and the Sputnik news agency have faced significant pressure in the United States over the past few months, with US lawmakers and intelligence community claiming that the broadcaster may have been involved in Russia’s alleged attempts to influence 2016 US presidential election.

    RT and Sputnik, as well as Russian authorities, have repeatedly refuted the allegations as unsubstantiated. On November 13, RT America registered as a foreign agent in the United States under Foreign Agents Registration Act upon the request of the US Justice Department.


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    US media, foreign agent, proposal, authorities, pressure, legislation, access, ban, Russian parliament, Maria Zakharova, Russia
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