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US restriction on Russian media is attack on free speech, Putin says

President Vladimir Putin said Kremlin’s retaliatory measures against restriction on Russian media in the US would be proportionate and reciprocal. (AFP)
DANANG, Vietnam: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he was disappointed at US restrictions on Russian media operating on the US territory, which he said was an attack on free speech.
Putin, speaking at a press conference at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, said Russia’s retaliatory measures would be proportionate and reciprocal.
“I want to draw your attention to the fact that there is no — and there can’t be — confirmation that Russian media meddled in election campaigns,” Putin said.
He added the retaliatory measures, which are being discussed in the Russian parliament in response to US restrictions on broadcaster Russia Today, were natural, though “perhaps a little bit too harsh.”
Russia’s parliament warned on Friday some US and other foreign media could be declared “foreign agents” and obliged to regularly declare full details of their funding, finances and staffing.