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Russia: ‘Foreign agent’ status for 9 media outlets

The Russian Justice Ministry on Tuesday registered nine media outlets, including Voice of America, as “foreign agents”.

In a statement, the ministry listed, in accordance with the law on mass media, several outlets as “foreign agents”. Among those are Voice of America, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE / RL) and Current Time TV, which is run jointly by the previous two.

Other information websites listed are Azatliq Radiosi, Sibir.Realii, Idel.Realii, Kavkaz.Realii, Kyrm.Realii and factograph.info.

The move came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree assigning the ministry the authority to maintain a register of media foreign agents.

The journalists working for the outlets listed may not enter Russia’s State Duma — lower house of parliament. Last week, Moscow banned all U.S. media from accession to the Duma.

Russian State Duma Committee head Olga Savastyanova said on Dec. 1 that the decision was taken in response to the recent U.S. Congress move to strip the accreditation of Russia’s English-language news channel RT America.

On Nov. 13, the U.S. Department of Justice demanded RT to register as a foreign agent for playing a key role in what it termed an “influence campaign” aimed at undercutting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during last year’s presidential race.

In response, Putin on Nov. 25 signed a law to introduce a “foreign agent” status for foreign media outlets.

Anadolu Agency

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