Russian court fines US-funded news outlet for violating 'foreign agent' law

Published: July 06, 2018 16:16:25 | Updated: July 08, 2018 12:19:37

A Russian court fined Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a US government-funded news outlet, on Thursday for violating a “foreign agent” law.

The court reached the guilty verdict before a summit in Finland between presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump on July 16, and is likely to deepen Washington’s concerns about how US media are treated in Russia, reports Reuters.

Russia designated RFE/RL and Voice of America as “foreign agents” in December, a step aimed at complicating their work in retaliation for what Moscow said was unacceptable US pressure on Russian media.

The designation subjected RFE/RL to the same requirements as foreign-funded non-governmental organisations which, since 2012, must include in any information they publish or broadcast to Russian audiences a mention of their “foreign agent” status.

They must also apply for inclusion in a government register, and submit regular reports covering their sources of funding, their objectives, how they spend their money, and who their managers are.

RFE/RL said the Moscow court had found it guilty of not complying fully with the “foreign agent” law when it came to filing reports to the authorities and had fined it 100,000 roubles ($1,585).

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