Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on a law that permits Russian authorities to label non-Russian media outlets as "foreign agents", in a move seen as retaliation against the U.S.
The new law was published on Russia's official legal information Internet portal on November 25.
Any foreign media entity "regardless of its organizational and legal form, might be considered as functioning as a foreign agent if it receives funds and/or any other assets from foreign states, foreign governmental organizations, global and foreign organizations, foreign citizens, persons without citizenship, " the document stipulates.
Within hours after the bill passed the State Duma, the Justice Ministry sent warnings to several Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) news services.
RFE/RL was among several media outlets that Russian officials warned could be labeled a foreign agent, a list that also included the Voice of America (VOA), CNN, and Germany's worldwide broadcaster, Deutsche Welle.
Putin Signs 'Foreign Agent' Media Law
To meet this demand, the agency can create a separate register of foreign agents media, if there is such a need. They will also face the same responsibility as those NGOs for breaching the legislation.
This act is presented as a response after the registration in the United States as "an agent of the foreign" of the channel RT, which is controlled by the Russian State.
The Russian Justice Ministry last week published a list of nine US -backed news outlets that it said could be affected by the changes.
"RT and Sputnik distribute freely in the US, whereas RFE/RL has lost its broadcast affiliates in Russian Federation due to administrative pressures, and has no access to cable", it said.
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied meddling in the election and said the restrictions on Russian broadcasters in the United States are an attack on free speech.