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US and Russia on the verge of media Cold War

US and Russia on the verge of media Cold War
From Al Jazeera - November 11, 2017

Russia's parliament warned that some United States and other foreign media could be declared "foreign agents" and obliged to regularly declare full details of their funding, finances and staffing.

Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, said on Friday that parliament could back legislation as early as next week, in response to what legislators view as US pressure on Russian media.

"Possible restrictions will be the same as those taken by the United States," Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

Russian legislators said the move was retaliation for a demand by the US Department of Justice that Kremlin-backed TV station RT register in the US as a "foreign agent", something Moscow has said it regards as an unfriendly act.

Volodinsaid some US media in Russia were trying to turn US public opinion against Moscow.

"We understand that it's essential to protect the interests of our citizens and the country, and we will do this in the same way as the country which lays claim to be the gold standard and mentor, and which is constantly talking about freedom."

The US action against RT was taken after US intelligence agencies accused Russia of trying to interfere in last year's US presidential election to help President Donald Trump win, something Moscow has denied.

Russian election

Russia faces a presidential election next March. Vladimir Putin is widely expected to stand again and to win. He remains broadly popular though critics accuse him of suppressing dissent, not least by tight control of domestic media.

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