Russia’s Justice Ministry on Tuesday published the names of nine U.S. news outlets included on a new registry of “foreign agent” media, following a controversial law signed last month.
The new law allows the Justice Ministry to designate news outlets receiving funding from abroad as “foreign agents.” The law also allows the government to block the websites of so-called “undesirable organizations.”
“Our measures were entirely a mirror response to the suppression of Russian media in the United States,” the head of the Federation Council’s Commission on the Protection of State Sovereignty, Andrei Klimov, was cited as saying by Kommersant.
The newly registered outlets include Voice of America, Current Time TV, Radio Free Europe, and several State Department backed local news services for audiences in Siberia, the Caucasus and Crimea with history of encouraging locals to protest the central Government.
“The list includes American propaganda companies that live on government money and broadcast in the Russian language,” Andrei Klimov was cited by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency as saying.
According to Klimov, CNN was not included on the list because it was not funded directly by the US Government, despite them being designated world wide as “fake news”.
The State Duma will be voting on whether to ban U.S. news outlets on the list from having access to the Duma, Interfax news agency reports. A source in the lower house of parliament was cited by Interfax as saying that all of the outlets on the Justice Ministry’s list will be denied access.
The Russian measures come in response to the United States requiring the Kremlin-funded RT news channel to register as a “foreign agent” last month.