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Russia to Investigate U.S. Media Over 'Election Meddling'

Paul Sancya / AP

U.S. media outlets in Russia will face investigations into whether they illegally influenced the country's parliamentary elections in 2016.

Outlets such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe (RL/RFE) and CNN will all fall under the spotlight, said Leonid Levin, the head of the State Duma Committee on Information and Communication.

He said that journalists' work could have affected Russian elections.

"The structures we are discussing are part of a larger American system of pressure on our country,” Levin said at a committee meeting on Tuesday. “They are using a variety of instruments in respect to both the Russian electoral process and on our country as a whole.”

Levin also pointed to similar investigations on Russian state media in the United States.

“The U.S. Senate is considering a bill which grants the U.S. Justice Ministry — including the FBI — additional powers to investigate potential violations of U.S. law by RT America. Similar claims have been leveled at [state-funded English-language news website] Sputnik and other Russian media," he said.

Levin said that representatives from both CNN and Voice of America had been invited to appear in front of the committee, but that neither company had responded to the proposals.

Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe (RL/RFE) are both funded by the U.S. State and broadcast across the world. CNN is a privately owned television news channel founded in 1980.

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