On 15 November the state Duma will give the symmetrical response to the actions of the US authorities in relation to state TV channel Russia Today. The Russian authorities will be able to recognize the foreign agent of any foreign mass media that disseminate information on our site. The relevant amendments the MPs to adopt one day, and many important details will be spelled out later in regulations.
November 13, the U.S. justice Department has confirmed the registration as a foreign agent of the American division of the Russian state TV channel Russia Today. Last week, when it became clear that the development of events will be exactly in the state Duma by the decision of the speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has established a special working group from representatives of all factions led by Vice-speaker Peter Tolstoy (“ER”). She had to develop a legislative response to actions of the United States. Total approvals (“basically they were on the phone,” — said “MK” in the source situation) was the text of the amendment to the Law “On mass media”, which was first introduced in the Russian legislation the concept of “mass media — foreign agent”.
According to the law of 2012, which, as then claimed in the Parliament and the Kremlin, was a carbon copy of that adopted in the United States before world war II, the label “agent” could be attached to Russia only to non-profit organizations (NPOs). “Agent” according to the decision of the Ministry of justice is recognized and included in a special register the NGOs, which “receives money and (or) other property” from foreign States, state bodies, international and foreign organisations, foreign citizens, persons without citizenship or Russian legal entities receiving money from foreigners. A prerequisite for this is “political activity,” even if it is not in the interests of who gave money to persons, entities or States.
Included in the registry of foreign agents NGOs (88) must provide financial statements more frequently and by more stringent rules than other NGOs, and all of its information products be required to label an indication of the special status.
Talking to reporters, Mr. Tolstoy recognized that tracing from the American law was still incomplete: they have “the law extends on legal entities and individuals, and the media”, and we have the media-registered as foreign agents still were not. “If they have not taken such unfriendly steps, we would have never come to pass such laws,” — said the head of the Duma Committee on information policy, information technologies and communications Leonid Levin (“CP”).
But now that our government had the opportunity, when necessary, to give the symmetrical response to the United States or another country, it is decided to prescribe the right “authorized body of Executive power” (they say it will be the Ministry of justice) to amend the list of registered as foreign agents “legal entities registered in a foreign state or a foreign structure without legal entity formation, spreading is intended for an unlimited circle of persons printing, audiovisual and other messages and materials (foreign media)”. Of furious the wording seems to imply that we are talking only about the foreign media. Thus the question about what may be hiding in this case the words “foreign structures without formation of legal entity”, could not answer any one of the respondents “MK” members.
It is also unclear whether the Ministry of justice to the media-registered as foreign agents to create a custom registry, or add them to one where the toil of NGOs. “I think it will be a separate registry”, — told reporters, Mr. Tolstoy.
But the biggest mystery — the amount of inconveniences that are included in the register of media-registered as foreign agents in Russia. From an amendment it follows that the justice Department then will establish a “procedure” applied to the media-registered as a foreign agent restrictions that are now imposed on NGOs registered as foreign agents. The MPs argue that to label products included in the register of mass-media definitely will.
“We have to react quickly, not be such, when we are, figuratively speaking, spit in the face, and we wipe,” explained Mr. Tolstoy adopted by the Council of the Duma on Tuesday, the decision to include the amendment adopted in first reading a bill earlier completely different content — to speed up the procedure.
At the meeting of the relevant Committee on 14 November, Mr. Levin expressed confidence that “the amendment will not be used to restrict freedom of expression and obstructing the work of foreign journalists” as “aimed at the point and accurate reproduction of the actions of the American authorities,” and all foreign media automatically not within its ambit. What fall? This is not addressed to the deputies.
Another question unanswered — how will be punished in the Russian media-registered as foreign agents, which ignore the requirements of the authorities. For NGOs-registered as foreign agents under the code prescribed for that large fines. But to extend this provision in the media automatically fail. The problem will be solved in the future: “the working group is not dissolved,” — said in a conversation with “MK” Mr. Levin.
The best in the “MK” – short formal newsletter: subscribe to our channel in the Telegram