The President of Armenia Armen Sargsyan signed a law restricting the broadcasting of foreign, including Russian TV channels in a public multiplex, reported the press service of the Armenian leader.

The law "On audiovisual media" has been adopted by the National Assembly (Parliament) of Armenia in the second and final reading on 16 July. One provision provides that foreign audiovisual programs may be retransmitted without a license through the public multiplex only on the basis of an international agreement.

"the Armenian President signed the law "On audiovisual media" – it is told in the message placed at the disposal of RIA Novosti.

The decision will come into force 10 days from the date of publication.

The head of the licensing Department of Lianna Dahican told RIA Novosti that foreign TV channels are currently licensed and will be in effect at least until January 20, 2021, the expiration date of their license.

"If it be concluded interstate agreement, they will continue their activities on the basis of these contracts," said Dahican.

In Armenia now broadcast Russian "First channel", "RTR Planeta", "Russia. Culture" and inter-channel "Peace".

The head of the national Commission on television and radio of the country Tigran Hakobyan has repeatedly stated the need to exclude from the national digital multiplex for foreign broadcasters on the basis of considerations of information security. He repeated his position at a press conference on 29 January, justifying it with the fact that the regulator has no mechanisms of influence on the foreign TV in case of violations. In an interview with Sputnik Armenia Hakobyan stated that he had presented this position to the Russian side, including the Ambassador of the Russian Federation, "and the Embassy with the arguments of the Armenian side was agree".

Earlier, the Russian Embassy in Yerevan issued a statement in which he noted that the new law "On audiovisual media", adopted by the Armenian Parliament in the first reading, will affect the fate of Russian TV channels. The Embassy noted that the bill will lead to a serious transformation of the whole industry of media space, in new conditions of foreign broadcasters to broadcast in the public multiplex only on the basis of an international agreement. As was stressed at the Embassy in the first place comes the question of Russian TV channels.

According to the Embassy, because of innovations will need to agree on a new "game rules" which, he supposed, would offer Yerevan. The statement noted that the Russian side has repeatedly indicated a willingness to the corresponding dialog and waiting for respETA Armenian partners.