Media-registered as foreign agents will be obliged to establish in Russia a legal entity for the dissemination of information


MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. State Duma deputies and Federation Council members introduced Tuesday in the lower house of Parliament a bill which proposes to oblige the media, recognized as performing functions of a foreign agent, to disseminate information to establish a Russian legal entity within one month from the date of its recognition noagenda. There is also the possibility of blocking access to resources to distribute the media-registered as a foreign agent without specifying the appropriate markings, and also stipulates the possibility to equate such media individuals.

Changes are proposed to the laws “On mass media” and “On information, information technologies and protection of information”. The authors of the initiative made by Vice-speaker of the state Duma Pyotr Tolstoy, head of the Duma Committee on information policy, information technologies and communications Leonid Levin, together with the Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on constitutional legislation and state construction Andrey Clisham and his Deputy, Lyudmila Bokova.

“In the case of recognition of foreign mass media acting as foreign agent, organization of distribution on the territory of the Russian Federation is intended for an unlimited circle of persons printing, audio-, audiovisual and other messages and materials of the foreign mass media (including the use of information and telecommunication network Internet) is established Russian legal entity, performing functions of a foreign agent”, – stated in the document in the Duma electronic database.

As explained to journalists one of the authors Leonid Levin, bill “details the set of so-called reflex action, which our country is forced to use in connection with attacks on Russian media in the United States.” According to him, “the initiative is technical in nature and clarifies a number of issues that have not been addressed in previous amendments.”

“For example, establishes the obligation for the new York times to register a legal person on the territory of our country, and the media, among the founders of which is inherent should so indicate in the output. Also, a foreign agent may be considered a natural person, which mirrors the norms prescribed in the laws of the United States,” – said the Deputy.

As follows from the text of the bill, foreign mass media are obliged to establish a Russian legal entity “within one month from the date of recognition of his media, acting as inherent” and notify the Ministry of justice. If, prior to the inclusion in the list of registered as a foreign agent such media in Russia have already created a legal entity, it must notify the Agency within one month from the moment of its recognition the media-noagents. Explains that the media are recognized as foreign agents before the entry into force of this law, shall establish a Russian legal entity within one month from the date of its entry into force.

The lock is a violation of the law

According to the draft law, materials created or distributed media-invagent, and also created legal entity, “regardless of the method and form of distribution” shall have the appropriate marking, and in case of violation of these provisions, “the distribution of materials of such media must be stopped”. If the Ministry of justice will be established the fact of violation of the law, the Agency in turn should send the media-noagent notice specifying the period (not less than 15 days) within which the foreign media should eliminate such violation.

“In the event of default by the foreign media, acting as a foreign agent, and established his legal entity specified in the notice the term of duties to eliminate violations, access to information resources of such individuals is limited by communications operator providing services to provide access to the Internet, in the manner prescribed by the government of the Russian Federation”, – stated in the text of the bill.

The norms on individuals

Simultaneously, the initiative prescribes in the law “About mass media” the possibility of recognizing individuals by the media, acting as a foreign agent. “Individuals can be recognized as foreign mass media acting as foreign agent if you meet the criteria stipulated by this article”, – stated in the bill. In particular, we are talking about receiving money from abroad.

Thus, under current law, registered as a foreign agent, “regardless of their organizational-legal form can be defined as those foreign media, who receive cash or other property from foreign States, their state bodies, international and foreign organisations, foreign citizens, persons without citizenship or individuals authorized by them or from Russian legal entities receiving monetary funds or other property from specified sources.”

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