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

11 November, 2017, 01:21 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Russian state-owned television station RT logo is seen at the window of the company's office in Moscow on Oct. 27 2017

Nikolov noted that foreign agent status implies a wide range of measures by the United States authorities, but no one knows what exactly can follow after this status is acquired.

On RT's English language site, Simonya described the timeline as a "cannibalistic deadline", and wrote: "We believe that the demand does not only go against the law, and we will prove it in court - the demand is discriminative, it contradicts both the democracy and freedom of speech principles".

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 U.S. media in Russian Federation.

The Kremlin-funded channel denies assertions by US intelligence agencies that it acted as a propaganda arm of the Russian government in efforts to influence last year's presidential election.

Russian Federation is poised to list USA media outlets as "foreign agents" by extending legislation used to restrict the activities of civil society groups, in retaliation for an American order requiring state broadcaster RT to register for a similar status.

The US Justice Department has ordered RT to register as an agent of a foreign government by November 13, its editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said Thursday.

"These are not media, but propaganda tools with 100 percent funding from the USA budget", Pushkov was quoted as saying.

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It was not clear how this label would apply to US media and how it would potentially affect their work, or how many media outlets would be affected.

"Every media now has its own pages in social networks, which also publish their news, articles and videos".

The current Russian law does not restrict activity, but requires organizations to place the "foreign agent" label on all their documents.

In case of failure to comply with this demand within this period of time, the bank accounts of RT America can be frozen, while its head could face arrest. "Between those consequences and registering as a foreign agent, we are forced to choose registration".

RT, previously known as Russia Today, disputes that it is an agent of the Kremlin, arguing that it merely offers alternatives to mainstream news coverage.

Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, said the Parliament could back such a legislation as early as next week, arguing that some US media were attempting to turn public opinion in Russia, Reuters reported.

In a statement posted to its Facebook account Thursday night, the Russian Embassy in the United States said the Justice Department's decision "created a unsafe precedent".

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