17:13 GMT +312 December 2017
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    Russian Ministry of Justice Declares 9 Media Outlets 'Foreign Agents'

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    The Kremlin has retaliated following a US decision to signal out the Russian-owned network RT America with regulatory amendments targeting several key media outlets.

    Changes were made to Article 6 of Russia's law "On Mass Media." Radio Liberty, Voice of America and seven other outlets which provide media content within Russia have been named specifically in a new federal law which targets media outlets that receive financial assistance from other countries or from organizations which can be recognized as foreign agents.

    The Tatar-Bashkir service of Radio Liberty and the broadcaster Nastoyashee Vremya have also been declared foreign agents.

    Journalists representing blacklisted media agencies will be banned from entering the State Duma and the Federation Council, the two branches of Russia's federal legislature.

    READ MORE: Putin Signs Amendments to Law Allowing to List Media as Foreign Agents

    "Precisely these media will be banned from entering the Federation Council, no restrictions will be imposed on other media," the source said, adding that the decision would be made on December 15.

    Russia is prepared to expand the list of media outlets declared foreign agents if the United States keeps exerting pressure on Russian media, the head of Russia’s upper house's commission on information policy, Alexey Pushkov, told Sputnik.

    "I absolutely agree with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, we do not need a 'race of bans.' So far, I think, the Justice Ministry will limit itself to these nine media, but if the United States takes new steps to exert pressure on Russian media — and it is steadily demonstrating its readiness to deteriorate relations with Russia — then Russia will certainly be ready to expand the list of media foreign agents," Pushkov said.

    The list of media outlets which have been declared foreign agents by the Russian Ministry of Justice most likely will not be expanded anytime soon as there are no reasons for it, the head of the Federation Council's commission on the protection of state sovereignty, Andrey Klimov, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "This list includes US propaganda companies funded by the state and providing their services in the Russian language. CNN is not a propaganda outlet, and other media… also do not fall under this definition," Klimov said.

    Earlier media reports suggested that the German-run broadcaster Deutsche Welle would also be included in the list.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Moscow is willing to lift restrictions if Washington does the same.

    Related:

    Russian Lawmakers Introduce Proposal on 'Foreign Agent' Access Ban to Parliament
    Putin Orders Russian Justice Ministry to Keep a Register of Foreign Agent Media
    Russia's Foreign Agent Media Law: What We Know About New Amendments
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    foreign agent, Russian State Duma, Russian Ministry of Justice, Russia
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