A draft law on the steps in response to “discrimination against the Russian press” was registered in the Moscow legislature in early April. The document “would serve as an appropriate response to hostile actions against domestic journalists,” as Vasily Piskarev, head of the Commission on the Investigation of Foreign Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs, said on May 23, according to Gazeta.ru.
“The commission’s analysis of information on discriminatory actions and open pressure against Russian media and journalists abroad for the past five years reveals that 13 countries are the most aggressive (Latvia, France, Moldova, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, USA, Great Britain, Georgia, Germany, Canada, Estonia, and Romania),” Vasily Piskarev also affirmed. He noted that Latvia, Ukraine, and France were among the countries where such “incidents” were allegedly taking place.
“For several years now, there has been a massive campaign in the West to discredit the Russian press and to create unbearable conditions for their activities. We are talking about the refusal to provide accreditation for official events, as well as about creating obstacles for banking services and cessation of re-broadcasting, cases of detention at the borders and even arrests and prosecution of journalists for their professional activities and their membership in the Russian press,” Piskarev added.
The suggested steps include the possibility of withdrawing the registration and licensing of foreign media institutions if they spread “illegal information.” According to the Parlamentskaya Gazeta (Russian Parliamentary Gazette), the document stipulates the right of the Prosecutor General or his deputies to make decisions on prohibiting or restricting media activities in the Russian Federation in case of unfriendly actions of a foreign state.