Russian Federation labels Voice of America and Radio Free Europe as 'foreign agents'

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal court in Washington Friday Dec. 1 2017. Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI the first Trump White House official to make a guilty plea so far in a wide-r

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves federal court in Washington Friday Dec. 1 2017. Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI the first Trump White House official to make a guilty plea so far in a wide-r

The Russian blacklist was introduced in accordance with recently adopted law amendments on media after the U.S. Department of Justice forced RT America to register as a "foreign agent" on suspicion of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election by spreading fake news. Putin evidently overcame these misgivings to order his Justice Ministry to begin treating some media outlets as foreign agents on November 25.

Russian Federation has denounced the move as a violation of media freedom and passed a new law allowing the government to designate any worldwide media outlet as foreign agents.

Other media outlets include congressionally-funded Cold War-era outlets that partly broadcast in Russian, as well as seven outlets controlled by them that mostly focus on specific regions like Crimea and the North Caucasus, the report said. "We remain committed to accurate and comprehensive journalism", Kent said.

The statement comes after a USA association of journalists who report on Congress voted to revoke the press credentials of the Kremlin-funded RT news channel.

Russian officials have called the new legislation a "symmetrical response" to what they describe as USA pressure on Russian media. A key difference between the US action against RT.com and Russia's retaliatory legislation is that Russia's restrictions can potentially apply to any media organization, not just those which demonstrably receive support and direction from a foreign government.

Journalists representing blacklisted media agencies will be banned from entering the State Duma and the Federation Council, the two branches of Russia's federal legislature. A similar move is expected from the Federation Council, or the upper house.

Human Rights Watch has condemned the Russian legislation as a "full-throttle attack on media freedom" and said it was "tailor-made to be selectively and politically enforced and to silence voices they do not want Russian people to hear".

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