U.S. Department of State
Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
August 10, 2020
The United States is deeply concerned by the recent draft decree published by Russian authorities targeting U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM)-funded entities in Russia. For more than 70 years, Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) have been vital sources of independent news and information for the people of Russia. This decree will impose new burdensome requirements that will further inhibit RFE/RL’s and VOA’s ability to operate within Russia, compounding the significant and undue restrictions these outlets already face. We remain troubled by the ongoing crackdown on independent press in Russia and call on Russia to uphold its international obligations and OSCE commitments to freedom of expression. We urge the Russian government to reconsider these actions, which will further damage the bilateral relationship.