Russian NGOs fear new ‘foreign agent’ law
State Department spokesman: new legislation could be used by Russian authorities to suppress freedom of speech
The United States is concerned that the Russian parliament has approved a law that allows not only the media and public organizations to be recognized as foreign agents, but also individuals who receive foreign funding. Morgan Ortagus, a State Department official, tweeted about this on Saturday..
«We are alarmed by the hasty adoption by the Russian parliament of yet another law on «foreign agents», which can be used to suppress independent voices. We call on Russia to respect its commitments to protect freedom of speech», – Ortagus wrote, recalling that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov once again announced compliance with such commitments at the OSCE conference.
Last week, both chambers of the Russian parliament approved a law allowing foreign agents to recognize individuals who collaborate with foreign media outlets and receive funding from abroad. The list of natural persons-foreign agents will be compiled by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
In December 2017, the Russian Ministry of Justice added to the list of foreign agents «Voice of America» and Radio Liberty. The list also includes the TV channel «Present time», Tatar-Bashkir Service of Radio Liberty, Siberia. Realities, Idel. Realities, Factographer, Caucasus. Realities and Crimea. Realities.