Russian MPs to vote on banning United States media from the parliament

US media banned from Russian Duma

Russian lawmakers are to discuss a proposal to bar USA media from accessing the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, the RIA news agency quoted the chair of one of the chamber's committees as saying earlier on Friday. The Committee's head, Olga Savastyanova, said on Friday she expects the motion to be approved on the State Duma plenary session next week and come into force by the end of the week.

Moscow would not like to enter a ban fight with Washington, which will affect the media of both countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday, commenting on the decision to yank RT's Capitol Hill press credentials.

A committee that governs Capitol Hill access for broadcast journalists on Wednesday withdrew credentials for Kremlin-funded RT after the company complied earlier this month with a U.S. demand that it register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Russian officials said the move is a direct response to the American arm of Russian television network RT losing its Congressional press credentials. The report also said Sputnik was "another government-funded outlet producing pro-Kremlin radio and online content". "It concerns US media because blatant attacks on foreign media, specifically Russian media, which contradict the worldwide practice of freedom of speech, are rampant in the USA", he added.

The ban would apply to USA media rather than journalists from other foreign countries, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 25 signed a law to introduce a "foreign agent" status for foreign media outlets.

US authorities have designated Kremlin-funded broadcaster RT as a "foreign agent", after intelligence officials alleged it tried to meddle in the US Presidential election past year.

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