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Russian Duma Passes Bill Limiting Foreign Media Ownership

Russian lawmakers have passed a draft law limiting foreign ownership of the country's media to 20 percent.

The bill was approved by the the Duma lower house of parliament on second, third, and final readings on September 26, with only two lawmakers voting against.

The text now has to be passed by the upper house, the Federation Council, and be ratified by President Vladimir Putin before it becomes law.

If implemented, the law will require owners of media companies with foreign-owned stakes of more than 20 percent to lower these stakes by February 2017 .

Some media investors criticized the bill as the Kremlin's latest attempt to stifle media freedom.

Based on reporting by AFP, ITAR-TASS, and Interfax