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Cable TV Channel CNN Says It Will End Russian Broadcasts in 2015

A replica of the newsroom at the CNN Center in the U.S.

Cable news channel CNN will end its broadcasts in Russia starting on Jan.1, after the country passed a law restricting foreign ownership of media outlets.

Time Warner, which owns CNN, said it had notified its Russian cable distributors VimpelCom and Akado that it would stop broadcasting in the country by Dec. 31, the Vedomosti business daily reported Monday.

Time Warner's Turner International division "is assessing its distribution options for CNN in Russia in light of recent changes to Russian media legislation. We are bringing our existing distribution relationships to an end while we do that," the company was quoted as saying in a statement.

"We hope to be able to re-enter the market in due course. We will notify our partners about the resumption of our services," the statement said, adding that CNN's Moscow bureau operations would not be affected by the move.

The law, which President Vladimir Putin signed last month, limits foreign ownership in Russian media companies to 20 percent. The law is scheduled to take effect on Feb. 1, 2017.

The law will also directly impact The Moscow Times' owner Sanoma Independent Media, which is the Russian branch of Finnish media group Sanoma and one of Russia's largest publishing houses.

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