Representatives of the media outlets Voice of America and Radio Liberty, which are recognized as foreign agents, have been banned from entering the Russian State Duma.
As Interfax reported, the relevant decision was made by the lower house of parliament.
413 MPs voted in favor of the ban, 38 refrained from voting, and LDPR Deputy Spokesperson Igor Lebedev voted against it.
“I think that this is an extremely hasty and premature decision. With one hand we advocate attempts to normalize relations, and with the other we slash down these attempts at the roots,” Lebedev said, explaining his vote.
According to him, by depriving the American journalists of the opportunity to visit parliament, Russia is depriving itself of the ability to show Americans the truth of the State Duma’s operation.
Olga Savastyanova, head of the regulation committee, explained that of the nine media outlets that were designated as foreign agents, this decision only affects Radio Liberty and the Voice of America. The rest of the media outlets had never been able to visit the State Duma, since they lacked the necessary accreditation from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Yesterday senator Andrey Klishas announced that foreign agent media outlets had been banned from visiting the Federation Council.
The Russian Justice Ministry recently placed the following media outlets on the foreign agents list: Voice of America, Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the Current Time TV channel, Radio Liberty’s Tatar-Bashkir service, Sibir.Realii, Idel.Realii, Faktograf, Kavkaz.Realii and Krym.Realii.
The Russian law on foreign agent media outlets was adopted in response to the US’s demand that the TV channel Russia Today register as a foreign agent in the US. RT complied with the demand, and was later stripped of its US Congress press accreditation.