Russia to list journalists as 'foreign agents'

  • 05/12/2017
Media agencies will soon be banned from the country.
Media agencies will soon be banned from the country. Photo credit: iStock

Russia's justice ministry will start registering some foreign media as "foreign agents" this week, the RIA news agency reports, citing a source in the Russian upper house of parliament.

Nine US media outlets, including the Voice of America and Radio Liberty, are likely to enter the list of "foreign agents" to be approved by Russia's parliament, the source at the legislature's Federation Council chamber told RIA.

The Kremlin has said it fully understands why Russia's parliament plans to discuss banning representatives of US media organisations in retaliation for what it calls US mistreatment of Russian media.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law last month the measures in response to what Moscow says is unacceptable US pressure on Russian media.

Meanwhile Russia's communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said it would respond in kind to any violations of the rights of Russian companies and media abroad, RIA reported.

Russia threatened to take action against Alphabet Inc's Google if articles from Russian news websites Sputnik and Russia Today were placed lower in search results, after a statement by Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt appeared to admit this.

"We have been in correspondence with Google regarding this, and Google replied to us that they had in no way implied this ranking of information," RIA cited Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov as saying.

"It is completely clear that there is the need to react in kind to any violations of the rights of our companies as well as of our mass media," he said. "And the Russian Federations has the tools to do this."