Russian Federation names 9 media organizations as foreign agents, including Voice of America

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"We call on the Justice Ministry to immediately reverse its anti-press action and to allow a free flow of news in the country".

Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan on her Telegram account said that "the Department of State has taught us [Russia] that foreign agent laws serve only the ideals of transparency".

On Tuesday, Sergei Popov, deputy head of the rules committee for Russia's upper house, the Federation Council, said the body could also ban media designated foreign agents, the Interfax news agency reported.

The list also includes the Kavkaz.Realii, Krym Realii and Sibir Realii websites, the Current Time TV channel - a joint project of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty - the Radio Liberty-owned website and IdelRealii project.

Congress has also revoked the accreditation of RT, prompting the Russian lower house of parliament, the State Duma, to consider a ban of USA media. "As far as we understand, this concerns at least nine to ten American media outlets. Definitely not", the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman said.

No access to Duma for "foreign agents"?

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree assigning the ministry the authority to maintain a register of media foreign agents on Monday.

Russian leaders say that in the drama surrounding RT, they are the ones defending free speech.

On November 13, RT America registered as a foreign agent in the United States upon the demand of the US Justice Department, which according to Simonyan, put the broadcaster at a disadvantage compared to other foreign outlets working in the United States.

"In defending democratic values, [Russian lawmakers] reserve the right to take symmetric measures in response to the decision to withdraw Russian journalists' accreditation with US Congress", a draft of the Duma's resolution reads.

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