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Russian lawmakers to vote on banning US media from parliament

Russian lawmakers will vote next week on the banning of all US media from accessing the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, in a tit-for-tat move following an American decision to withdraw the Congressional press credentials of RT broadcaster.

A senior United Russia party lawmaker said the State Duma would vote on the ban on December 6. The resolution is expected to be approved.

“The ban will impact all American media,” Olga Savastyanova said in a statement published on the Duma’s official website.

According to the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, some 21 American media outlets are accredited to work in Russia.

“After the decree regarding closing access for American journalists to the Duma building is passed, we will work out all organizational and technical issues with the foreign ministry,” which keeps the register and issues documents to journalists, Savastyanova said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the ban would apply to US media rather than journalists from other countries.

“Such outrageous attacks on foreign media, in particular Russian media, go against the international practice of freedom of speech and unfortunately flourish in full Technicolor in the US,” he said.

The organization overseeing media access to the US Congress on Thursday said they voted unanimously to withdraw Russian state-funded RT’s press pass.

The Executive Committee of the Congressional Radio And Television Correspondents Gallery said the new restrictions on RT had been imposed due to the network’s registration as a foreign agent in the United States.

The US designation of RT as a foreign agent came in response to the allegation of Russian meddling in the US presidential election. Moscow denies the allegation.

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