The Russian government has not received yet a bill seeking to limit an ownership share of foreigners in domestic mass media to 20%, Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov said Friday.
“The document has not been submitted to the government. When it’s agreed upon by all the entities, the government’s common position will be worded. I think that every initiative has its advantages and disadvantages,” Nikiforov said.
The minister said as well that he does not think the possible limitations will negatively affect the investment attractiveness of the industry.
Deputies submitted on Wednesday amendments to the mass media law seeking to forbid foreigners to own more than 20% in domestic mass media, both directly and indirectly.
The amendments were presented to the State Duma, the parliament’s lower house, by deputies Vadim Dengin from the Liberal Democratic Political Party (LDRP), Vladimir Parakhin from the Just Russia party, and Denis Voronenkov from the Communist Party (KPRF).
Leonid Levin, first deputy chairman of the State Duma’s information policy committee, said that the bill was sent to the government on Thursday. “I would like to underline that because the initiative will not involve spending from the Russian budget, the government is not obliged to respond to the bill or give comments,” Levin said.
“We are monitoring the industry’s position from the point of view of a reaction to the bill and have a positive feedback, including from the union of journalists of Moscow and Russia. We will continue taking opinions into consideration, and if there are any comments, we are ready to take them into account in the second reading of the bill,” he said.
To become law, the bill must be approved by the State Duma in three readings, as well as by the Federation Council — the parliament’s upper house — in one reading before being signed by the president.