The lower house of the Russian Parliament has passed a bill preventing foreigners from owning a controlling interest in its national television service.
The State Duma approved the bill by a 343-37 vote. To become law it requires further approval by the upper house, the Federation Council as well as President Vladimir Putin's signature.
An earlier draft of the bill also banned foreign control of radio stations and the press but these provisions were pulled before its final passage. The restrictions extend to Russian organisations controlled by foreigners or nationals with dual citizenship.
The bill's authors, the pro-Kremlin Unity faction, believes foreign groups present a threat to Russia's national security. At the time of its first reading, Pavel Kovalenko, a member of the Duma's information committee, said: "Those who want to do business are welcome, (but) those who want to do politics in Russia won't be able to do so."
Liberal critics warned that the bill would allow a stronger government hold over the media. Foreign investors will have to sell their shares over the 50 percent mark to a Russian partner within the year.
The bill stems from approval of the Information Security Doctrine, a policy document drafted by the presidential Security Council and signed by Putin. The doctrine, in language redolent of Soviet times, warned of "information weapons" used by foreign powers and called for protection of the media.
The document accuses foreign media organisations of a deliberate attempt to take over the Russian news market.