The amendments on foreign media went into effect after President Vladimir Putin signed off on them on Saturday, allowing Russian authorities to label outlets as "foreign agents" for receiving funding from overseas. According to Newsweek, this law extends from the news media to American restaurant chains including McDonald's.
The letters did not specify what potential restrictions they could face, but lawmakers have said designated media could be subjected to detailed financial-reporting requirements and required to label published material as coming from a foreign agent.
The measure was unanimously passed in the lower and upper chambers of parliament on November 15 and November 22, respectively. These actions have led Mr. Putin to strike back and lash out at global news sources and other foreign businesses.
The measure was signed in response to a similar measure taken by the US Department of Justice against Russian state-funded broadcaster RT, which claimed last week that it had been requested to register as a foreign agent in the US.
Russia's anti-media law is not the first time this month the country has painted groups as so-called foreign agents.
The Russian President sees the Justice Department's actions as an incendiary addition to the mounting pressures put on Russian media by the United States.
RFE/RL was among several media outlets that Russian officials warned could be labeled a foreign agent, a list that also included the Voice of America (VOA), CNN, and Germany's global broadcaster, Deutsche Welle. The broadcaster said it would challenge the requirement in court. Russia's new and retaliatory law went quickly into effect and can be reviewed in its entirety on Russia's legislative database.
Russia's move against USA media is part of the fallout from allegations that Russian Federation interfered in last year's US presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.