Russian state TV presenter apologies for insulting parliament

MOSCOW Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:17pm EST

Prominent Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner gestures during an interview with Reuters journalists in Moscow December 5, 2011. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR2UVEQ

Prominent Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner gestures during an interview with Reuters journalists in Moscow December 5, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Grigory Dukor (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR2UVEQ

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - A presenter on Russian state-owned television has apologized for insulting parliament after lawmakers suggested they might bring in a law barring foreigners criticizing Russia on state media.

Vladimir Pozner, who holds Russian, American and French passports, angered deputies in the Duma by making a reference to "dura", which translates as "fool", while discussing a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children on his talk show in December.

Deputies responded by floating an idea to ban critical foreign passport holders from state television, which dominates the viewing figures and is seen very supportive of the Kremlin.

But in the latest edition of his Channel One show on Sunday, Pozner apologized for what he said was a slip of the tongue in saying "dura" by accident.

Deputies then said they were willing to put aside any plans for legislation over foreigners on state media - for now.

"Of course if such comments towards the higher authorities are repeated in the future, it will be impossible for us not to react," ruling United Russia party deputy Mikhail Starshinov said on Monday, according to Interfax news agency.

Since returning to the presidency in May, Vladimir Putin has enacted a string of laws that critics of the former KGB spy say are designed to stifle dissent and roll back democratic liberties, such as tightening Internet controls and raising fines for protesters.

(Reporting by Sonia Elks; Editing by Alison Williams)

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