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Russian Lawmakers Back Curbs For Foreign Media Ownership

Russian lawmakers have given overwhelming backing to a bill limiting foreign ownership in Russian media to 20 percent.

It also prohibits media outlets being funded or run by foreign groups or individuals, including Russians with dual nationality.

The State Duma voted 434-1 to pass the first reading of the law on September 23.

The text can be amended in the second reading, and either adopted or withdrawn in the third.

As he presented the initiative, lawmaker Vadim Dengin said, "Unfortunately the Cold War, the information war waged against Russia, is dictating certain laws and actions."

Dengin warned that Western media organizations were buying up Russian papers in order to sway Russians, particularly the younger generation.

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

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

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