The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin has just signed into law, a recent bill which was approved by the State Duma and Federation Council, that gives Russian authorities the power to list foreign owned media outlets as “foreign agents”.
The new Russian law comes as a response to the US government using a piece of legislation from 1938, the FARA Act, to force RT America to register their company and employees as “foreign agents”.
It is expected that the laws will be initially used against US state-run agencies Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America.
Russia has promised to utilise proportional legal mechanisms against US owned media in Russia whenever the US passes similar laws singling out Russian media operating in the US.
While the US has thus far targeted RT and Sputnik, foreign owned outlets operating in the United States such as Qatar’s Al Jazeera, Britain’s BBC, France 24 and Canada’s CBC have not been targeted.
The US is however considering targeting Chinese outlet Xinhua under similar laws as those used to attack Russian media.