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The Russian parliament moved Friday to extend the law used to restrict civil society groups, enacted since the Obama administration interfered in the 2012 Russian elections, to apply to Western media operating in Russia. The measure is retaliation for the Trump administration forcing Russian media in the United States to register as a ‘foreign agent,’ after allegations Russia interfered in the American 2016 president election, and perceived high levels of propaganda coming from RT and Sputnik.
“Our law on foreign agents doesn’t apply to media but since they are taking such measures against our channels in the U.S., we should respond to these unfriendly acts,” Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the lower house of parliament, said Friday in comments posted on the State Duma’s website. Amendments to the legislation are expected to be submitted and approved next week, he said, reported Bloomberg.
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“Possible restrictions will be the same as those taken by the United States,” Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.
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“We understand that it’s essential to protect the interests of our citizens and the country and we will do this in the same way as the country which lays claim to be the gold standard and mentor and which is constantly talking about freedom.”