Putin Bites Back After US Interference with Russian Backed Television Channel

Russian President Vladimir Putin signs bill targeting international media outlets

Russian President Signs 'Foreign Agents' Media Legislation

Russia's move against USA media is part of the fallout from allegations that Russian Federation interfered in last year's US presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.

President Vladimir Putin on Saturday signed into law the new rules which allow any worldwide media outlet to be classified under the controversial "foreign agent" label by the Ministry of Justice.

The Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, funded by the US Congress, are the first foreign media to have been warned by Moscow they may need to register under the new classification.

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In signing the bill as reported by CNBC, Mr. Putin has made a decidedly hostile move in a clear and direct effort to seek retribution for the U.S. Justice Department's recent requirement.

According to the USA intelligence community, RT's American channel is staffed, supervised, and financed by the Kremlin, and "has substantially expanded its repertoire of programming that highlights criticism of alleged United States shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties" in an effort to influence Americans.

Russian officials have called the new legislation a "symmetrical response" to what they describe as USA pressure on Russian media.

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USA intelligence officials have accused the Kremlin of using Russian media organizations it finances to influence US voters, and Washington has since required Russian state broadcaster RT to register a USA -based affiliate company as a "foreign agent".

The law was fast-tracked through parliament during the past two weeks, and allows Moscow to force foreign media to brand their news content as the work of "foreign agents". The law will require all non-Russian media etc.to register as foreign agents. He added that Russian Federation respects press freedom and treats foreign media equally.

The U.S. government took action after intelligence services identified that RT, formerly known as Russia Today, was spreading false information during the 2016 presidential election. Russian officials have went as far as to spin the Justice Department's requirement as an attack on free speech.

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