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Interfax.com  |  Interfax news  |  Communications Ministry's amendments keep ban on...


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May 04, 2019 18:37

Communications Ministry's amendments keep ban on direct foreign ownership of Russian media outlets

MOSCOW. May 4 (Interfax) - The Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media has put forward amendments to the part of Russia's law on mass media that restricts foreign ownership of Russian media outlets, but the proposed amendments change only the legal wording of the provisions and do not alter their main points.

The relevant draft amendments are available on the federal portal of draft regulatory legal acts. They have been drawn up by the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media together with the country's telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor in compliance with the Russian Constitutional Court's January 17, 2019 ruling, an explanatory note said.

The Constitutional Court ruled at the time that Parts 1 and 4 of Article 19 of the media law were at odds with the Constitution, and compelled parliament to clarify the norm of the media law imposing restrictions on media owners.

For instance, the provisions use the notions of "media founder" and "media participant", a circumstance which complicates the establishment of the actual subject of the ban, the court said. It is also unclear from the law whether the ban applies to media founders or media shareholders.

The bill submitted by the ministry amends Articles 19.1, 19.2 and 19.4 of the abovementioned law. However, the term "media participant", which drew the court's criticism, has been excluded only from the first part of Article 19.1 and remains in the rest of the text. For instance, the law's section that restricts ownership to no more than 20% of shares in the charter capital of the entity being a participant in a media founder has been supplemented only by the phrase "established in the form of a legal entity", which does not change the essence of the restriction itself.

Interfax reported earlier that in early April the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media had agreed upon another text of amendments to the media law part limiting foreign ownership of Russian media outlets.

That version proposed fully excluding the word "participant" from the media law, thus simplifying the scheme of corporate restrictions earlier introduced by the law on mass media with regard to foreign ownership and enabling foreigners or people with dual citizenship to directly own or otherwise control up to 20% of a media founder's charter capital.

Since the existing restrictions came into force, several leading publishing houses and media holding companies have had to alter their ownership structure. The list of such companies comprises Business News Media (the publisher of Vedomosti), Independent Media, Hearst Shkulev Media, Axel Springer (the publisher of the Russian version of Forbes), STS Media, Ekho Moskvy, and also several television channels, including Channel One Russia.

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(Our editorial staff can be reached at eng.editors@interfax.ru)

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June 19, 2019
 
22:19
Russian, Serbian, Belarusian paratroopers drill liberation of airfield
 
21:58
Azeri foreign minister, Bolton discuss mechanisms for Karabakh settlement progress
 
21:52
Russian Soyuz rocket to orbit Meteor-M, 30 foreign including U.S. satellites in early July
 
21:48
Ukraine failed to provide info on its Buks' deployment on day of Flight MH17 crash - DPR
 
21:36
DPR notes change of atmosphere in one TCG subgroup only
 
21:24
 
21:23
New data on MH17 crash nonobjective - Slutsky
 
21:03
Moscow, Hanoi markedly intensify military-technical cooperation - Russian General Staff chief Gerasimov
 
20:59
Joint commission of JCPOA's meeting on June 28 under discussion, no final decision yet - Ryabkov (Part 2)
 
20:59
Joint commission of JCPOA's meeting on June 28 under discussion, no final decision yet - Ryabkov
 
20:55
Minsk negotiators failed to agree on new, 'harvest' Donbas truce
 
20:51
JCPOA JOINT COMMISSION MEETING ON JUNE 28 BEING CONSIDERED, NO FINAL DECISION MADE SO FAR - RYABKOV
 
20:37
Patrushev, Serbian interior minister discuss security cooperation
 
20:28
Zelensky says hoping everyone responsible for death of Flight MH17 be brought to justice
 
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