Russian parliament bars Radio Free Europe and VOA from premises

MOSCOW, Dec 6 9INP) Russia’s lower house of parliament on Wednesday banned Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from entering its premises, a day after the Russian government declared the organizations “foreign agents ”

The 413-1 vote by the Russian State Duma to ban the outlets came as Moscow followed through on its promise to retaliate for similar U.S. actions against the English-language Russian network RT, which Russian leaders characterize as an assault on freedom of the press. ?

Congress rescinded the accreditation of RT, previously known as Russia Today, last month after the Justice Department required that it register as a foreign agent under a 1938 law because of its alleged role in interfering in U.S. affairs and the 2016 presidential campaign by pushing the Kremlin’s agenda.

On Tuesday, the Russian Ministry of Justice published a list of nine outlets, which includes Russian-language subsidiaries of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that cover the Caucasus region of Russia, Crimea, Siberia, and two predominantly Muslim regions in central Russia, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. Also designated were Current Time TV, which is produced by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Factograph, a website produced by Radio Liberty.