State Duma to propose a bill that will prohibit foreign citizens from working for state media outlets

The State Duma will finish the elaboration of the so-called "Pozner law" next week, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Nationalities Committee Mikhail Starshinov (United Russia) told reporters on Friday.

"I think the document will be ready by the end of next week. The main goal is to prohibit foreign citizens from working for state media outlets and systematically discrediting Russia and its authorities," Starshinov said.

Representatives from all State Duma factions addressed television anchor Vladimir Pozner in late December 2012 in connection with his "scandalous pronouncement" made on the Pozner program on Channel One and expressed their attitude toward it, he said. In the opinion of the parliamentarians, Pozner had a deliberate slip of the tongue when he called the State Duma "the State Dura (fool)".

Starshinov said the deputies' address to Pozner was an unprecedented move but, unfortunately, there was no adequate reaction.

"About two weeks have passed but instead of a natural reaction - apologies and admission of a mistake - we hear strange statements from Pozner, who practically celebrates "a victory" over the deputies," the representative of the parliamentary majority said.

It was reported earlier that State Duma deputies Andrei Lugovoi (the Liberal Democratic Party), Mikhail Starshinov (United Russia), Oleg Denisenko (the Communist Party) and Igor Zotov (A Just Russia) sent a letter to Pozner to condemn his pronouncements on television.

They noted that Pozner is a citizen of three states - Russia, the United States and France.

Pozner thanked everyone who had supported him and said on Jan. 9 that the State Duma had decided not to draft a law that would limit employment of foreign citizens by federal television channels.

"I learned today that State Duma deputies had actually decided not to draft the document dubbed by people as the "Pozner law," says a statement published on the Pozner website, pozneronline.ru.

Pozner thanked everyone who had supported the freedom of speech in Russia.

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