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Duma approves proposal to investigate US media in Russia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows a general view of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament.

The Russian lower house of parliament, the Duma, has approved a proposal to launch a probe into the operations of US media outlets working in Russia.

According to a statement posted on Duma’s website on Friday, the body’s information policy, technologies and communications committee is tasked with ensuring that CNN, the Voice of America, Radio Liberty and "other American media" operate in compliance with the Russian law.

The investigation was proposed by Konstantin Zatulin, a lawmaker from the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, in response to what he called Washington’s “repressive” move against Russia’s state-funded broadcaster RT.

On Tuesday, US Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen introduced a bill to empower the Justice Department to investigate possible violations of the American law by RT.

US Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen (File photo)

Shaheen cited a US intelligence agency assessment, which says RT was part of an alleged Russian campaign to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election, an allegation that both the Kremlin and RT have strongly rejected.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed Shaheen’s proposal, mentioning ironically that the bill should have included a clause drawing up a list of books for burning.

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