Russia's Putin signs law on foreign media

A policeman separates Dmitry Prokhorov a local deputy of the pro Kremlin United Russia party and opposition deputy Vadim Korovin during a session of a Moscow municipal council in this still image taken from a video in Moscow Russia November 21

A media outlet will be deemed a foreign agent if it gets money from other countries.

Vladimir Putin has signed into law measures that will allow authorities to list foreign media outlets as "foreign agents" that must brand their news and disclose funding sources. The move comes not long after multiple Russian officials threatened retaliatory action in response the USA government's recent decision to force Russia Today, a state-owned Russian media company, to register as a foreign agent.

Russia's former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who now heads the Center for Strategic Research, regrets a law on the media outlets designated as foreign agents has come into force in Russia, he told reporters on Saturday after the All-Russian Civic Forum held in Moscow, APA reports quoting TASS. The US government forced them to registry as "foreign agents".

The Russian law labels media outlets as foreign agents if they receive funding from overseas, the government-owned TASS news agency reported. RT's editor-in-chief visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in August 2013, where they discussed renewing his broadcast contract with RT, according to Russian and Western media.

The amendments signed by Putin had been previously approved by both chambers of the Russian parliament.

Sputnik News, the government-controlled news agency formerly known as RIA Novosti, reported Saturday that the Kremlin may also use its new media law to respond to reports that the European Parliament has allocated $1.3 million for a European Union anti-propaganda unit targeting alleged "Russian fake news".