US And Other Media May Have To Register As Foreign Agents In Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill allowing authorities to designate certain mass media outlets operating in Russia as foreign agents.
Posted at 4:31 PM, Nov 25, 2017

U.S. media and other international outlets operating in Russia may have to register as foreign agents.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation Saturday that allows authorities to designate as foreign agents certain mass media outlets that operate in Russia but are funded abroad. If they don't register, they could face sanctions.

Russia's lower house of parliament unanimously approved the bill Nov. 15. Then it went through the upper house before landing on Putin's desk.

The legislation comes after the U.S. State Department told state-funded Russian news outlet RT America to register as a foreign agent in the U.S. by Nov. 13 or face consequences.

The U.S. intelligence community found RT — as well as Russian news agency Sputnik — contributed to the Russian interference campaign surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election by acting as a "platform for Kremlin messaging" to global audiences.

The U.S. decision was met with criticism from RT's editor in chief. Putin's press secretary also denounced the move, calling Russia's bill a "mirror reaction."

Russia's justice ministry has reportedly notified a number of media outlets that they may be required to register.