President Vladimir Putin has signed amendments, which had been previously approvedby both chambers of the Russian parliament, to a bill allowing to list some foreign media outlets operating in the country as Foreign Agents.
According to the text of the law, media that receive financial assistance from foreign states or organizations can be recognized as foreign agents, while the decision on which outlets will be classified as "foreign agents" will be taken by the Ministry of Justice. It implies that media outlets classified as foreign agents will have to publish a notice that their materials are provided by a foreign agent, report on their activities, submit information about the composition of their management and provide expense reports.
Previously, the Russian Justice Ministry stated that it had notified the Voice of America, the Current Time broadcaster and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and some others about their possible inclusion in the Foreign Agents' list.The measure is a response to the pressure on Russian media in the US as RT America was forced to register as a foreign agent in the United States on Monday to comply with the Justice Department's demand, which was earlier described as an "attack on freedom of speech" by Putin.
Commenting on Russia's response measures, the Kremlin spokesman has stated that any violations against Russian journalists "shall not remain unanswered."