Russia’s decision to pass a measure that would ban American journalists from covering the Duma, the lower chamber of its Parliament, comes as a major blow to media freedom. Olga Savastyanova, head of the Duma’s lower chamber’s committee on regulations and control, said that she was “examining” a proposal to ban American journalists from Duma, said the Independent. The parliament will consider the resolution next week, she informed. “It will need to go through several steps, including being passed by committee, the upper house and the lower house before the resolution becomes official,” said CNN. Dmitry Peskov, government spokesperson, said that the plan has the Kremlin’s “full understanding.” “Russian officials said the move is a direct response to the American arm of Russian television network RT losing its Congressional press credentials,” reported CNN. “Such blatant attacks against foreign media, particularly Russian ones — which are in violation of the world practice of freedom of speech — they, unfortunately, are blossoming in the US,” Peskov said. Russia has been escalating restrictions on American media in response to the United States scrutiny on Russian state-funded outlets RT and Sputnik.