The Russian government says CNN is not legally prohibited from broadcasting in the country after the international broadcaster announced it would cease appearing on Russian airwaves.
The Communications and Mass Media Ministry said on November 11 that CNN officials could consult with the ministry on ways to get the proper licenses needed to continue broadcasting on Russian cable and satellite networks.
CNN said on November 10 that it was suspending its broadcasts in Russia as of January 1 due to "recent changes in Russian media legislation," a reference to a law that limits foreign ownership of a media organization to 20 percent.
The broadcaster said it hoped to reenter the market "in due course" and added that its Moscow news bureau would continue to operate normally.
Mikhail Fedotov, the head of the Russian presidential Human Rights Council, said CNN's decision was "bad news" and would "very seriously deplete" Russia's "information picture."
Fedotov said he wanted to fully understand the reasons behind CNN's decision so it can "shed light on what is happening in the media sector of Russia and the whole world."
He praised CNN for its long coverage of important Russian and world events.
Vadim Ampelonsky, a spokesman for Russia's telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor, said his agency had nothing to do with CNN's decision.
CNN's decision came the same day that Russia launched a new media organization, Sputnik, in a bid to counter the Western media.
Dmitry Kiselyov, head of the state-owned media organization Rossia Segodnya (Russia Today), said on November 10 that Sputnik was created to compete with what he called the "aggressive propaganda" Western media outlets are "feeding the world."
Kiselyov, speaking in Moscow, said Sputnik will "provide an alternative interpretation of the world."
Kiselyov said Sputnik will have hundreds of reporters working in news bureaus in 30 cities including Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Cairo, and several capitals in former Soviet republics.
He said it would broadcast in radio in 34 countries in 30 languages by the end of 2015 and will have an interactive website, a robust presence on social media, and offer SMS information services and newswire content.
It will operate as part of the RIA Novosti news agency.
RT Warned In U.K.
The announcement came on the same day that Britain's broadcasting regulating agency, Ofcom, warned Russian state-funded RT about biased reporting and threatened it with sanctions.
Ofcom officials cited four different reports by RT that it said were guilty of violating broadcasting regulations on impartiality in covering the crisis in Ukraine.
Ofcom said it understood RT wants to present news with a Russian perspective but that it must be impartial when reporting stories "of major political controversy."
It said further violations could lead to a fine or even the withdrawal of RT's broadcasting license.