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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov Sees No Major Change to Media Law

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LONDON — The head of Russia’s Security Council, which drafted an information doctrine seen by critics as a clampdown on newspapers and television, said he saw little need for new laws to regulate the media.

President Vladimir Putin signed the doctrine in September amid accusations from journalists that his administration was keeping in check media critical of Kremlin policies.

But Sergei Ivanov, secretary of the increasingly powerful Security Council, told reporters in London on Tuesday that authorities would not encroach on press freedom as long as national security and individuals’ rights to privacy were preserved.

"The Security Council is for the full freedom of speech, people’s right to access to information and even the punishment of those deliberately concealing information from people," he said at a news briefing at the Russian Embassy.

One author of the doctrine, Anatoly Streltsov, said it might require changes to a liberal media law dating back to glasnost, the opening up of society under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

But Ivanov appeared keen to play down such a possibility.

"My personal opinion is that I do not see the need for a major change to legislation on mass media that is already in place," he said.

Russia and Britain held high-level talks Tuesday about cooperating to counter the threat of international terrorism, including measures to end the financing of violent organizations.

Ivanov met British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other government officials during the visit to London.

"Special attention was paid to the discussion of questions on how to counter terrorism," Ivanov said at the embassy.

"It was very pleasing that our British partners share our view of the need to strengthen our actions to combat terrorism, particularly in the fight against the financing of terrorism and drug trafficking."

Ivanov also said Russia is willing to consider military cooperation with Europe if it goes ahead with plans for an international rapid reaction force aimed at defusing conflicts. But Ivanov hinted that future ties with the planned 60,000-member force may be used by Moscow as a counterbalance to NATO.