Russian Duma Considers Banning US Media Representatives

Russia's parliament could bar US media from reporting within its walls in retaliation for the withdrawal of a Kremlin-funded television station's credentials in the United States

Russian lawmakers will vote next week on measures banning all US media from the lower house of parliament, a deputy said on Friday, in response to the US Congress stripping state channel RT of its credentials.

'We are now studying the situation, which has occurred with the RT television company.

A committee that governs Capitol Hill access for broadcast journalists on Wednesday withdrew credentials for Kremlin-funded RT after the company complied earlier this month with a USA demand that it register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. "I'm convinced that this is absolutely inadmissible for any more or less civilized country", Lavrov said, according to TASS.

Lavrov's call for restraint comes at a time the State Duma Regulations Committee said it is mulling a ban on all visits by USA journalists working for the U.S. media to the Russian Parliament.

The US move and the Russian threats of retaliation follow the endorsement of a new Russian bill that allowed the government to designate international media outlets as foreign agents in response to the US demand made to the RT TV channel
Russian Duma Considers Banning US Media Representatives

Pursuant to Russian law, the Foreign Ministry has the final say in the accreditation of all foreign correspondents in Russia's state bodies and may, in turn, impose restrictions on their activity if the countries they registered in limit operations of the Russian media. "The issue at hand is imposing a ban on visits to the State Duma by journalists representing all American media outlets", she explained referring to the content of the draft resolution.

Russian officials have said the move is a retaliatory response to the US government forcing RT to register under FARA.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters that the Kremlin understood why lawmakers wanted to hit back against the United States for its mistreatment of Russian media.

In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 25 signed a law to introduce a "foreign agent" status for foreign media outlets.

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