Accessibility links

Breaking News

U.S. 'Deeply Concerned' By Russia's Targeting Of 'Foreign-Agent' Media

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (file photo)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (file photo)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington is "deeply concerned" by fresh efforts by Russia to target foreign media operating there.

In a statement issued on August 10, Pompeo said a a recent draft order published by Russia's state media regulator would "impose new burdensome requirements" on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America, which he said already faced "signficant and undue restrictions."

"We remain troubled by the ongoing crackdown on independent press in Russia and call on Russia to uphold its obligations and OSCE commitments to freedom of expression," Pompeo said, referring to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

In July, Russia's federal media regulator, Rozkomnadzor, issued a draft order that would require all media outlets registered as "foreign agents" to identify that fact in published or broadcast materials.

The new order would supplement a 2017 law on designating foreign-funded media as "foreign agents." After that law was adopted, the Justice Ministry listed VOA, several services of RFE/RL, and Current Time as "foreign agents." Current Time is the Russian-language network led by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA.

Failure to abide by the new requirements could result in fines of up to 100,000 rubles ($1,400) or 15 days in custody for individuals. Organizations could be fined up to 5 million rubles ($70,000).

Acting RFE/RL President Daisy Sindelar said on July 23 that the proposed order was intended to further restrict the media in Russia and to instill fear in their audiences.

  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.