Putin Signs Anti-Foreign Media Law After RT Registers As 'Foreign Agent'

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Black Sea resort of Sochi Russia

When they finally did register, RT acknowledged that its parent company, ANO TV-Novosti, was funded by the Russian government "to a substantial extent", but that the network was "not sufficiently aware of who supervises, owns, directs, controls or subsidizes ANO TV-Novosti" to actually detail those foreign ties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed legislation that empowers the government to designate media outlets receiving funding from overseas as "foreign agents" and impose sanctions against them.

Reports say the bill by Putin came into effect after the upper chamber of the Russian parliament adopted it Wednesday. As told by USA Today, under Putin's law, major networks such as CNN will be declared foreign agents and required to register in Russian Federation as such.

It said it had written to the US government-sponsored Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), along with seven separate Russian or local-language news outlets run by RFE/RL. It's yet not clear if Russian Federation will target traditional US news organizations as well.

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.

The U.S. government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were among those on the list. On November 13, the Russian state-funded television channel RT registered in the United States under a decades-old law called the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

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. According to Reuters, Mr. Putin is also lashing back in part against the larger issue of the claims against Russian media for interfering with the USA presidential election.

Putin's spokesman says the USA hampers the Russian news outlets' operation in violation of media freedom, "actions on the basis of the principle of reciprocity can't be excluded".

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