* CNN, Voice of America, Radio Liberty among media reviewed
* Proposal follows U.S. probe into Russian state-broadcaster
* U.S. intelligence reported on RT role in Trump campaign
MOSCOW, March 18 The Russian lower house of
parliament, the State Duma, has approved a proposal to launch an
investigation into U.S. media organisations that operate in
Russia, it said in a statement posted on its web site late on
The investigation, which will be conducted by the Duma's
information policy, technologies and communications committee,
will check whether CNN, the Voice of America, Radio Liberty and
"other American media" are complying with Russian law.
The statement said the Duma backed the move on Friday
evening after Konstantin Zatulin, an MP from the pro-Kremlin
United Russia party, proposed an investigation to retaliate for
what he called a "repressive" U.S. move against Russian
state-funded broadcaster RT.
He said he was referring to an initiative by U.S. Senator
Jeanne Shaheen, who has introduced a bill to empower the Justice
Department to investigate possible violations of the Foreign
Agents Registration Act by RT.
Shaheen, a Democrat, cited a U.S. intelligence agency
assessment that suggested RT was part of a Russian influence
campaign to help Donald Trump win the White House last year. The
Kremlin and RT have strongly rejected that allegation.
Foreign media in Russia are overseen by the Russian Foreign
Ministry, whose spokeswoman Maria Zakharova this week singled
out Shaheen's demarche for criticism, quipping ironically that
the senator should have included a clause drawing up a list of
books for burning.
The U.S. move also solicited the ire of Margarita Simonyan,
RT's editor-in-chief, who on Wednesday told the daily Izvestia
it had echoes of the activities of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy,
who oversaw a campaign to expose people he regarded as
communists in the 1950s.
(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Julia Glover)