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RFE/RL's bureau in Moscow.

'Foreign Agent' Watch

An amended law on "foreign agents" signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 2, 2019 ratchets up pressure on the hundreds of correspondents working for RFE/RL in Russia who are too often the only source of reliable information in their remote regions, and who provide one of the few alternatives to Kremlin-controlled news.

RFE/RL's ‘Foreign Agent’ Watch is monitoring the law’s implementation, and its impact on media independence and journalists’ security in Russia.

Statement, 01/24/2020

RFE/RL Files Documents To Register As 'Foreign Agent' With Russian Tax Service

RFE/RL's Russian Service has filed documents with Russia's Federal Tax Service to register as a "foreign agent" to comply with a law that critics say the Kremlin uses to muzzle dissent, limit news plurality, and discourage the free exchange of ideas.Andrei Shary, the director of RFE/RL's Russian Service, known locally as Radio Svoboda, said on January 24 that the papers had been filed in recent days. "This week we filed all of the necessary papers with Russian tax authorities after we received all necessary clarifications regarding the registration process from the Justice Ministry," Shary said.

Novaya Gazeta: Radio Liberty Will Register In Russia Under The Law On ‘Foreign Agents’ Mass Media

Radio Liberty sent documents to the tax service to register as a legal entity in Russia in order to comply with the requirements of the amended law on "foreign agents." We have already received explanations from the Ministry of Justice on the procedure for registration and this week submitted all the necessary documents to the tax authorities," said Andrey Shary, director of RFE/RL's Russian Service, adding that they will only need to register one legal entity, and not each project separately.

To avoid punishment, both individuals and editorial offices will have to establish a legal entity to interact with the Ministry of Justice and notify the Ministry within a month after entering the register. In the future, they will have to mention their status in each publication, and the editors will also have to mention it in the output data. Violation of these clauses, according to the text of the bill, involves blocking the publication.

Statement, 12/19/2019

EU Lawmakers Condemn Russian ‘Foreign Agent’ Law

The European Parliament on December 19 adopted a nonbinding resolution calling on Russian authorities to repeal the country’s controversial law on "foreign agents," and condemning efforts to restrict independent journalism and create an atmosphere hostile to civil society.

Nine RFE/RL projects in Russia have been designated by Russia’s Justice Ministry as “foreign mass media outlets” performing functions of a “foreign agent.” They are:

Radio Free Europe/Radio Freedom,
Current Time TV,
Татаро-башкирская служба Радио Свобода (Azatliq Radiosi), / Tatar-Bashkir service of Radio Liberty

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