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Reporters representing U.S. media outlets will be banned from Russian Parliament, in a response for Russia’s Kremlin-funded international TV news channel RT having its Congressional press accreditation stripped earlier this week.
A ban on attending sessions of the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russian Parliament, will be introduced “for all U.S. media,” Olga Savastyanova, head of the Duma’s committee on regulations and control, was quoted as saying by RBC news.
According to Savostyanova, the measure is Russia’s “reciprocal response to the U.S. Congress’ decision” regarding RT. The restriction is expected to begin Dec. 6, after being formally adopted by the Duma council and a plenary meeting.
Similarly, the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russian Parliament, will ban U.S. journalists, but, due to procedural issues, the ban will be enacted later, on December 12, Igor Morozov, a member of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, told RBC.
“This measure will protect not only RT journalists, but also freedom of speech and right for obtaining information in the U.S.,” he said.
The Kremlin supports the restrictions, Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, reportedly said, according to RIA Novosti news agency. “It concerns U.S. media because blatant attacks on foreign media, specifically Russian media, which contradict the international practice of freedom of speech, are rampant in the U.S.,” he added.
RT was stripped of its Congressional press accreditation earlier this week, just weeks after complying with a U.S. Justice Department order to register as a “foreign agent.”
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