Russian President Vladimir Putin this Monday ratified a law that allows all media to be punished for disseminating and publishing information from media related to “foreign agents” without identifying the content as such.
Under the new legislation, the media can expect fines of up to 50,000 rubles (about 600 euros) for disseminating information without warning that the material in question was from a “foreign agent”.
Journalists can be fined up to 2,500 rubles (about 30 euros), while officials can be fined up to 5,000 rubles (60 euros).
Critics have indicated that another government move is to silence dissidents in the face of the election. The measure was approved ten days after Russia declared Meduza, one of the country’s most widely read independent media outlets, a “foreign agent”.
Its director, Ivan Kolpakov, has denounced, according to the newspaper “The Moscow Times”, that this designation will enable the Russian authorities to block the media and imprison their journalists.
In 2017 Russia named Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty and Voice of America “foreign agents” after the US declared Russian television RT as such.