Last week The Duran reported that in a speech to security and intelligence personnel, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged his officials in attendance to work tirelessly to try and prevent foreign influence from creeping into Russian society and politics.
Putin’s request was both a warning to Russian officials to be alert and on the look out for US meddling in internal affairs (something America does with great frequency) and also an indirect jab at the ridiculous Trump-Russia collusion hysteria conjured up by a pathetic Clinton campaign.
Reuters Moscow now reports that the Russian President on Monday suggested that authorities should monitor the activity of “some companies” on social media during next year’s presidential election and assess the extent of their involvement in domestic politics.
Putin did not name the companies or say if he was concerned about the activities of foreign or local firms.
“We need to look carefully at how some companies work in internet, in social media, and how widely they are involved in our domestic political life,” Putin said, speaking at a meeting with leaders in Russia’s parliament about a new “foreign agents” law.
Putin signed a law last month allowing the authorities to designate foreign media outlets as “foreign agents” in response to what Moscow said was unacceptable U.S. pressure on Russian media. Once designated, such firms need to provide details to the authorities on, for example, their sources of funding.
“It should be carefully analyzed how they are operating and will be operating during the presidential election,” he said, but said this should not “narrow the space” for freedom on the Internet.
Russia has already designated Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America (VOA), both U.S.-backed organizations, as “foreign agents”.
Polls show Putin, 65, who has dominated Russia’s political landscape for the last 17 years, on course to be comfortably re-elected in March, 2018, making him eligible to serve another six years until 2024, when he turns 72.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.