Russian Federation to ban USA media from accessing State Duma

Russian Federation to ban USA media from accessing State Duma

In a letter addressed to T&R Productions LLC, the production company behind RT America, on Wednesday, the Executive Committee of the Congressional Radio & Television Correspondents' Galleries said that its members had voted unanimously to withdraw RT's credentials after the company was forced by the Justice Department to register as a foreign agent earlier this month.

The Kremlin said on Friday it fully understood why the Russian lower house of parliament planned to discuss banning representatives of USA media organizations in retaliation for what it says is US mistreatment of Russian media.

'We are now studying the situation, which has occurred with the RT television company. "I'm convinced that it's absolutely unacceptable for any more or less respectable, civilized country", Lavrov said.

"I can not say now what our answer will be, but I really would not want to join a race of bans, which will harm the media as well as those people who get information from the media about what's happening in the world", he said. "Such outrageous attacks on foreign media, in particular Russian media, go against the global practice of freedom of speech and unfortunately flourish in full Technicolor in the USA", he said.

Lavrov's call for restraint comes at a time the State Duma Regulations Committee said it is mulling a ban on all visits by USA journalists working for the U.S. media to the Russian Parliament.

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Olga Savastyanova, chairwoman of the Duma's organisation and regulation committee, said it would hold an extraordinary meeting on Monday to discuss "a ban on visiting the State Duma for journalists representing all American media".

"We are deeply disappointed", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call on Thursday.

Russian officials called the new legislation a "symmetrical response" to what they describe as USA pressure on Russian media.

The US move and the Russian threats of retaliation follow the endorsement of a new Russian bill that allowed the government to designate worldwide media outlets as foreign agents in response to the US demand made to the RT TV channel.

In response, Russian Federation introduced its own law allowing it to designate US and other foreign media as foreign agents.

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