(Reuters) – Russia’s justice ministry has designated The Moscow Times, an English and Russian-language online newspaper, a “foreign agent”, the publication said late on Friday.
The “foreign agent” designation requires media outlets and designated journalists to place a disclaimer on items they publish and imposes strict financial reporting and self-disclosure requirements.
In a statement reported by Russian media, the justice ministry accused the Moscow Times of distributing inaccurate information about decisions taken by the authorities, thereby forming what it called a negative image of Russia.
The Moscow Times said on its website that the “foreign agent” legislation had been “disproportionately used to target independent journalists, activists and NGOs in recent years.”
It added: “The (justice) ministry’s foreign agent registry lists the websites of MT’s English and Russian-language editions — as well as its social media pages, including on LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Telegram — as subject to restrictions.”
The publication’s website had already been blocked inside Russia by state communications regulator Roskomnadzor.