Russia’s Parliament to Ban U.S. Journalists

By on December 2, 2017
Russia continues to escalate tensions.

In yet another retaliatory move, it appears Russia is considering a measure to ban American media from covering the lower house of its parliament.

Known as the Duma, the lower chamber will apparently take up the matter next week, according to CNN. Earlier this year, the U.S. required RT America — the Russian state media and known actor for the Kremlin — to register as a foreign agent under FARA. The company bankrolling RT America, T&R Productions LLC, originally fought to keep from registering but ended up doing so in early November. Once that happened, RT America had its Congressional press credentials revoked.

The move to ban U.S. media from the Duma appears motivated by RT America losing its credentials.

In a letter addressed to T&R Productions LLC, the production company behind RT America, on Wednesday, the Executive Committee of the Congressional Radio & Television Correspondents’ Galleries said that its members had voted unanimously to withdraw RT’s credentials after the company was forced by the Justice Department to register as a foreign agent earlier this month. Though RT reporters may still access the same areas of the Capitol as the general public, they will lose special access granted to secure areas of Capitol Hill where reporters often speak to members of Congress, like the Speaker’s lobby and press galleries.

This is just the latest in a back-and-forth detente between the United States and Russia that began when several Russian diplomats were expelled from the U.S. after it became widely known that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. Since then, the Kremlin has played a game of tit-for-tat, matching every U.S. punishment with an equal action on its own end.

The Duma will likely pass the resolution, meaning U.S. journalists won’t be able to cover the chamber’s everyday activities. Then the ball will be back in America’s court.