Russia on Tuesday named nine media organizations as foreign agents, including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, in retaliation for the registration of English-language Russian news network RT as a foreign agent in the United States.
Russia’s Justice Ministry published a list of nine outlets, which includes subsidiaries of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that cover the Caucasus region of Russia, Crimea, Siberia, and two predominantly Muslim regions in central Russia, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. The ban also includes the Current Time television station, which is produced by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and factograph.info, a website produced by Radio Liberty.
The move comes in response to a U.S. Justice Department requirement that RT, previously known as Russia Today, register as a foreign agent under a 1938 law because of its alleged role in interfering in U.S. affairs and the 2016 presidential election by pushing the Kremlin’s agenda. Russia denies it meddled in the election campaign.
Congress has also revoked the accreditation of RT, prompting the Russian lower house of parliament, the State Duma, to consider a ban of U.S. media. On Monday, a Duma committee moved to propose that any U.S. media named foreign agents be banned from attending its sessions.