Kremlin says understands why Russian parliament wants to ban U.S. media


Russian State Duma Committee head Olga Savastyanova told reporters that the decision was taken in response to the recent U.S. Congress move to strip the accreditation of Russia's English-language news channel RT America. "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. It will need to go through several steps, including being passed by committee, the upper house and the lower house before the resolution becomes official.

Reporters representing USA media outlets will be banned from Russian Parliament, in a response for Russia's Kremlin-funded global TV news channel RT having its Congressional press accreditation stripped earlier this week.

The State Duma has been working together with the Foreign Ministry on Moscow's response to the withdrawal of RT America's Capitol Hill accreditation, State Duma Vice-Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy said on Thursday.

That means RT's reporters will not be able to have as much access to Congress as other foreign media.

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.

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RT "conducts strategic messaging for [the] Russian government" and "seeks to influence politics, [and] fuel discontent in the US", the report stated.

RT had initially skipped an October deadline set by the Justice Department for it to register as a foreign agent in an attempt to fight against doing so.

"Americans have a right to know who is acting in the United States to influence the USA government or public on behalf of foreign principals", Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente said in a statement at the time.

The Kremlin on Thursday called a USA decision to withdraw the Congressional press credentials of Russia's RT broadcaster because of its status as "a foreign agent" in the United States an unfriendly step.

In response, Russian Federation introduced its own law allowing it to designate USA and other foreign media as foreign agents.