The Russian parliament has rejected a new draft law that would have limited foreign ownership of Russian media.

The move means Russian media legislation will continue to be amongst the most liberal in the world in terms of foreign ownership, with overseas entities holding controlling stakes in more than 300 newspapers, radio stations and regional television channels.

Earlier this year the Russian parliament passed a draft law, which would have limited foreign ownership in all media to 50%. But the bill failed to gain the approval of the press ministry.

The new watered down version of this legislation that was rejected by parliament would have meant that the 50% ownership requirement applied only to television stations which broadcast to more than half the territory of Russia. None of Russia's national channels currently have 50% foreign ownership, thus making the bill of little immediate relevance.

The draft law, which was seen as a compromise solution, now faces a second vote and further revisions if it is rejected a second time.

The Russian parliament first turned its attention to the question of foreign media ownership at the height of the struggle for ownership of NTV. Ted Turner had expressed an interest in acquiring a stake in the channel, although only a minority shareholding position was being discussed.