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Russia seeks to keep out foreigners from media business

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Moscow, Sep 18 :

Russia will soon introduce a bill in parliament to restrict foreign ownership in Russian media, a media report said Thursday.

The bill seeks to put a 20-percent ceiling on any foreign stake in Russian media, including those held indirectly through Russian partners, BBC reported.

Russia’s main media outlets are state-owned or controlled by loyal oligarchs.

Sergei Zheleznyak, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, said Russia was facing “an information war unleashed against the country”.

Russian TV news has accused the Ukrainian government of provoking clashes in eastern Ukraine through acts of aggression, including indiscriminate shelling of civilians.

The Kiev government blames pro-Russian separatists for the violence, and says Russia has fomented it by supplying soldiers and heavy weapons to the rebels.

The media bill will be presented before Duma (lower house) deputies Sep 23.

The restrictions would apply to magazines and internet publications as well as newspapers and broadcast media.

(IANS)