Russian Watchdog Says Media Outlets Labelled as Foreign Agents in Country Refuse to Comply With Law

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (both labelled as foreign agents in Russia) pointedly refuse to fully comply with the nation’s law on foreign agents, the Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor said on Friday.

“The US media [outlets] Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, included in the register of foreign agents, pointedly refuse to fully comply with Russian law. In particular, the Voice of America has failed to establish a Russian legal entity and Radio Liberty systematically fails to fulfill the requirement to properly label the materials that it posts”, Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

The Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were included in the list of foreign agents in Russia in 2017. They are overseen by the US Agency for Global Media, fully funded by the US budget.

Roskomnadzor added that it had registered 11 cases of censorship of Russian media and information resources, including those affecting Russia Today, Sputnik, RIA Novosti, and the account of the COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V.

Twitter Fails to Delete Banned Materials

The watchdog further noted that Twitter was yet to remove 490 pieces of banned materials, although the “average time to meet the requirement to remove banned materials had lowered from 129 to eight days”. 

On 10 March, Roskomnadzor started slowing down Twitter’s traffic speed on all mobile devices and half of stationary devices following the online giant’s failure to remove illegal content.

Before the Russian watchdog took the measures, some 3,000 banned materials were detected in the public domain on Twitter, causing Roskomnadzor to send more than 28,000 requests to Twitter for content removal since 2017.

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