At the plenary session on Tuesday, May 24, the State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted in the first reading a bill on a mirror response to the actions of countries discriminating against Russian media. The bill has been developed by the State Duma Commission on Investigation of the Facts of Foreign Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs.
The Chairman of the Commission and one of the authors of the bill, Vasily Piskarev, noted that Russian media today are massively blocked and discriminated against abroad, and this is done both at the level of individual providers and owners of social networks, and at the level of state bodies.
Piskarev recalled that in March, the broadcasting of the Russia Today TV channel and the Sputnik news agency was banned on its territory by the EU. The Russian media has been discriminated against in many European countries before. Moreover, a campaign of intimidation and harassment of Russian journalists was launched in the Baltic countries, and a whole special operation was carried out in Germany to prevent RT from broadcasting in German, although all legal requirements were met.
“We believe that unfriendly actions of foreign states against our media, whether it is a ban or restriction of the distribution of their products, should receive a quick and symmetrical response,” the Head of the Commission stressed.
It is clarified that the initiative was submitted to the chamber on April 6. Thus, the law “On Measures of Influence on Persons Involved in Violations of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens of the Russian Federation” is supplemented by an article giving the Prosecutor General or his deputies the authority to make a decision to ban the activities of foreign media in Russia in case of hostile decisions against Russian media abroad.
The Law on Information introduces an article establishing a procedure for restricting access to information resources on which prohibited, or illegal, information has been repeatedly disseminated. The article of the law is supplemented with a new type of illegal, dangerous for society and the state information, namely information discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, containing calls for sanctions against the Russian Federation, its citizens, as well as Russian legal entities.
Source: Russian State Duma Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption