Russia Passes Law Requiring Media to Report on Receiving Foreign Funding

Russia Passes Law Requiring Media to Report on Receiving Foreign Funding © Sputnik/ Vladimir Fedorenko

10:45 23.12.2015(updated 11:54 23.12.2015) Get short URL

Russia’s lower house of parliament on Wednesday passed the second and third reading of a new law that would require Russian news agencies to inform the country’s mass communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, of receiving foreign financing or be fined.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – According to the new bill, Russian mass media outlets and broadcasters are required to report to Roskomnadzor quarterly whether they have received funds from foreign states, international organizations, foreign organizations or non-governmental agencies operating as a “foreign agent.”

In case of a failure to report on foreign funding within 30 days, individuals will have to pay a personal fine of up to 50,000 rubles ($705), and a media outlet will have to repay to Roskomnadzor the entire sum it has received from foreign sponsors.

The law excludes funds received from foreign organizations for paid advertisements.

In July 2012, a law was passed in Russia requiring non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are engaged in political activities and receive funding from abroad to register as “foreign agents” and to label all their publications as such. The law became effective in November 2012.

In October, Andrei Klishas, who chairs the Russian Federation Council’s committee on constitutionality, said that Russia could close 12 foreign-funded nonprofits, blacklisted by the upper house of the national parliament for actions “undermining Russia’s constitutional order” by the end of 2015

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