Blinken: Russia Undermining Press Freedom, Targeting RFE/RL

In an interview with RFE/RL during a one-day visit to Kyiv on May 6, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed to stand up “for the right of journalists to do their jobs.” His comments came as RFE/RL finds itself under increasing pressure in Russia, where authorities demand that it identify itself as a “foreign agent” in accordance with legislation that critics say is designed to crack down on independent media and NGOs. In recent weeks, RFE/RL has been confronted with multiple legal challenges and a record amount of fines for refusing to label its content. The targeting of RFE/RL has raised concerns the Russian government may be moving to shutter RFE/RL’s operations inside Russia. Blinken was asked whether he thought there was a chance to influence the situation.

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