Washington demands that RT should register as foreign agent by November 13

11 November, 2017, 01:23 | Author: Phil Peters
  • RT Chief Editor Margarita Simonyan

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, said Friday he had ordered a committee to develop a counter-response "to allow us to take steps to protect the citizens of our country and our country itself from overt interference" of United States media in Russian Federation.

Earlier this month, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said Moscow was preparing "a surprise" in response to pressure on Russian media outlets in the United States.

The government of Russian Federation in a tit-for-tat response to U.S.

"We understand that it's essential to protect the interests of our citizens and the country and we will do this in the same way as the country which lays claim to be the gold standard and mentor and which is constantly talking about freedom".

Russian Federation is preparing to retaliate against USA media after Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT was told to register in the U.S. as a "foreign agent".

Amid continued controversy about Russia's role in trying to influence last year's US presidential election, Twitter last month banned advertising by RT and by the state-funded Sputnik news agency. Putin is widely expected to announce his candidacy for a fourth term in presidential elections in March.

Lawmakers will conduct a first reading of the new restrictions on November 15 and try to complete approval in two further readings by the end of next week.

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The current Russian law does not restrict activity, but requires organizations to place the "foreign agent" label on all their documents. It's been revealed that Russian agents used U.S-based social media platforms to spread false information created to help boost Donald Trump's candidacy, and several people involved in President Trump's campaign are being investigated by the Justice Department over possible collusion with Russia.

Simonyan said the head of RT's USA subsidiary risked detention and the organization's bank accounts could be frozen if it didn't register.

On Friday, Joanna Levison, RFE's director of media and public affairs, declined to speculate about how the latest move might affect the broadcaster, but said RFE had "every intention" of continuing its journalistic work in Russian Federation.

The broadcaster, RT, reported Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice has demanded the registration be done by Monday.

Charities and other civil society groups operating in Russian Federation have to register as "foreign agents" if they get any foreign funding.

Pyotr Tolstoy, a deputy speaker of the State Duma, suggested that one possibility is that media outlets affected by the new law could be required to include a statement identifying themselves as foreign agents on their social media pages.

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