Russian president signs bill targeting foreign media

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump talk as they arrive for the family photo session during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Danang, Vietnam, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. President Trump stood before a summit of Asian leaders keen on regional trade pacts and delivered a roaring “America first” message Friday, denouncing China for unfair trade practices just a day after he had heaped praise on President Xi Jinping in Beijing. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill allowing Russia to register international media outlets as foreign agents in a quid pro quo to the U.S. demand made to a Kremlin-funded TV channel.

Putin signed the bill into law Saturday after the upper chamber of the Russian parliament adopted it Wednesday. The move is Russia’s retaliation after state-funded RT television was registered with the U.S. Justice Departmentas a foreign agent following pressure from Washington.

Without even waiting for the law to come into effect, Russia’s Justice Ministry last week warned U.S. government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, along with its regional outlets, that they could be designated as foreign agents under the new law.