Russian President Vladmir Putin has signed a new law that would impose fines for the distribution of unauthorized foreign print media.
Under the new law, media publications must obtain a permit and register their media outlet with Russian media watchdog, Roskomnadzor. Committee to Protect Journalists Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said criticized the legislation when it was first introduced as a crackdown on the political landscape that centralizes and censors any foreign news media that is not approved by the government agency. The law was proposed to better regulate foreign media outlets who have contracts with local distributors. The new law is supposed to make sure all of these contracts are brought under the review of the state.
The new policy not only applies to media outlets, but individuals who bring in foreign media into the country. The fines are expected to range from $23 for individuals to $470 for larger media corporations.