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Russian Government Considers Slashing State Media Budgets

The Kremlin could cut funding to key state media outlets, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Tuesday.

News agencies such as TASS and Rossiya Segodnya, state television channels, and foreign-language service RT — formerly Russia Today — will all face budget cuts between 2017 and 2019, according to recommendations from the Finance Ministry.

Print publications such as Rossiyskaya Gazeta could also see their subsidies reduced.

The scale of the cutbacks is yet to be approved, but the Finance Ministry has recommended that government funds do “not exceed the amount needed to create socially relevant content.”

TASS received 1.81 billion rubles ($27.8 million) in state funding in 2016, while RT was given 19 billion rubles ($292 million). Rossiya Segodnya, produced by a merger of former state news agency RIA Novosti and the Voice of Russia radio station, recieved 6.75 billion ($103 million).

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