Russian upper house approves bill targeting foreign media

MarketsAssociated Press

Russia's upper house of parliament has unanimously approved a bill allowing the government to register international media outlets as foreign agents in a quid pro quo to the U.S. demand made to a Russian TV channel.

The Federation Council's vote Wednesday follows a quick approval of the bill by the lower house, days after the Russian state-funded RT television registered with the U.S. Justice Department as a foreign agent following pressure from Washington. President Vladimir Putin is expected to quickly sign it into law.

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Without waiting for that, Russia's Justice Ministry last week warned the U.S. government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, along with its regional outlets, that they could be designated as foreign agents under the new law.