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Wednesday, 6 February 2013

US counterintelligence officials investigate Voice of Russia

15:45 05/02/2013
MOSCOW, February 5 - RAPSI. Counterintelligence officials at the US Department of Justice have asked a major Russian broadcasting company to submit all records of its contacts with Russia, Russian daily Izevestia reported Tuesday, citing a copy of the department's request.
The authorities have demanded a description of all dealings and transactions that LLC RM Broadcasting, which organizes the broadcasts of the Voice of Russia radio station in the United States, has provided to Russia or any other foreign country.
The company will be required to provide copies of any relevant written contracts and detailed descriptions of any relevant oral contracts.
Depending on the results of this investigation, LLC RM Broadcasting may be required to register as a foreign agent in the US, in accordance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
FARA requires companies and agencies representing the interests of foreign powers, governments, or political parties to register and to regularly report on their activity. "The investigation is not yet over, but there is nothing to be concerned about. Every country has its own laws," Voice of Russia head Andrei Bystritsky told Izvestia.
A similarly worded but differently aimed law took effect in Russia in November.
Pursuant to the law, NGOs that register with a "foreign agent" status become subject to different legal regulations, which include heightened accountability and more frequent audits.
However, the US law aims primarily at lobbyists and commercial entities whereas the foreign agent law targets NGOs.

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