Nine months before Russia’s presidential election, which was rescheduled for March 18 – the day of joining of Crimea to Russia, the upper house of Parliament concerned with informing the public.

In the afternoon of 28 June, of the Council of the Federation came the news that foreign media broadcasting in Russia, can be equated with “foreign agents” and banned on the territory of the country, and in the evening of the same day there was a clarification that the test can and Russian media on the subject of foreign financing and, consequently, also to block them.

As explained RBC , the head of temporary Commission of the Federation Council on the protection of state sovereignty and prevent interference in Russia’s internal Affairs Andrey Klimov, the authority, the intent of the senators, will conduct inspections only “clear cases” of violations.

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“We are considering granting the justice Ministry and Roskomnadzor the power to investigate sources of funding for Russian-language media,” said another member of the interim Commission, Lyudmila Bokova. According to her, if foreign support for the media are true, “it would be logical to oblige the media to provide additional statements or to report in accordance with the law on foreign agents”.

Klimov, in turn, has added that before to recognize the media as a “foreign agent”, it will be necessary to prove the fact of interference in the internal politics of Russia. In this case, under the interference in the internal Affairs of the Russian Federation refers to “a specific, focused impact on our political life.” “If the media engaged in propaganda for and against one candidate or another on the foreign money, it is a terrible basis to draw conclusions”, – he stressed.

In the Scenarios previously proposed to give the justice Department authority to investigate the sources financing the media. If the media has foreign funding, they will need to report on their activities according to the law on “registered as a foreign agent”. Klimov said that the new rules should become the answer to “punitive measures”, States that “counteract” the Russian channel RT.

The Commission’s initiative on blocking foreign media requires considerable elaboration, said the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov. While the Kremlin has no position on this issue, he said.

Interim Commission of the Federation Council for the protection of state sovereignty and prevent interference in the internal Affairs of the Russian Federation established by decree of the Council of 14 June 2017. It included ten senators representing various committees of the upper chamber.

The objectives it includes development of proposals on changing Russian legislation in the sphere of protection of sovereignty of the Russian Federation, monitoring the activities of foreign States and international organizations to intervene in Russian internal political processes. The Commission shall hold meetings not less than once every quarter; in addition, it is anticipated the meetings of the working groups, hearings and round tables on specific issues.

The preparation for presidential elections: the Ministry of justice may grant the right to review and block foreign and Russian media 29.06.2017

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