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Vladimir Putin Signs Bill Targeting International Media Outlets

28 November 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an anti-foreign media law after the Trump administration forced a Russian-owned media outlet to register as a "foreign agent".

Russian President Vladimir Putin talks with Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir (not pictured) during their meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, November 23, 2017.

In signing the bill as reported by CNBC, Mr. Putin has made a decidedly hostile move in a clear and direct effort to seek retribution for the U.S. Justice Department's recent requirement.

The Russian law classing worldwide media organisations operating in the country as "foreign agents" is a "threat to free and independent media", the European Union said on Sunday.

A copy of the law was published on the Russian government's online legislation database on Saturday, saying it entered into force from the day of its publication. Indeed, the Russian Embassy in the U.S.

In September, the US Justice Department ordered the outlets to register as agents of foreign governments over the perceived spread of propaganda and alleged meddling in the 2016 US election.

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Putin's spokesman says the USA hampers the Russian news outlets' operation in violation of media freedom, "actions on the basis of the principle of reciprocity can't be excluded".

Per the new Russian law, any media organization operating in Russia that receives financial support from foreign organizations or governments can now be designated a foreign agent, depending on the judgment of the Russian Ministry of Justice.

It said it had written to the US government-sponsored Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), along with seven separate Russian or local-language news outlets run by RFE/RL.

The U.S. government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were among those on the list.

The worldwide rights organization Amnesty global has said the legislation would deal a "serious blow" to media freedom in Russia, although Russian officials have said it would not apply to domestic media.

Vladimir Putin Signs Bill Targeting International Media Outlets