Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Russian Federation says it plans to retaliate against United States owned media in Moscow

Russian Federation says it plans to retaliate against United States owned media in Moscow

Russia's parliament warned on Friday some United States and other foreign media could be declared "foreign agents" and obliged to regularly declare full details of their funding, finances and staffing.

Alexey Pushkov, the head of Russia's Federation Council commission on information policy, told Sputnik that Russian restrictive measures will most likely target four USA media outlets - CNN, Voice of America, Current Time TV and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

FARA applies to those engaged in political activity for a foreign government.

USA officials say that Russia's foreign agents law, which Kremlin critics and civil society activists say has been used by Putin's government to silence dissent and discourage a free exchange of ideas, differs significantly from FARA.

The Russian embassy in the US has condemned the US Justice Department demand for RT America's registration under FARA by November 13, saying that it creates a unsafe precedent and "once again demonstrates double standards", while the broadcaster's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan has called the deadline "cannibalistic" and "discriminatory".

America was urged by the US Justice Department to register as a "foreign agent" by November 13, in a move called "cannibalistic" and "discriminatory" by the broadcaster's editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan.

The current Russian law does not restrict activity, but requires organizations to place the "foreign agent" label on all their documents. "It deprives us of fair competition with other global channels, which are not registered as foreign agents".

RT has been singled out as a propaganda outlet in the wake of alleged Russian meddling in the USA presidential vote. No other news organizations are registered under FARA.

She added: "We will continue to work and continue to fight this as long as it's possible".

RT, formerly known as Russia Today, was started in 2005 with a large budget provided by the Kremlin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled that he would sign such a law last month, when he told a conference of foreign policy scholars that Russia would respond immediately and reciprocally to "any efforts to limit our mass media". Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, indicated the law could also target Moscow-based correspondents from newspapers including the New York Times and the Washington Post. A U.S. intelligence community report on Moscow's interference in the 2016 presidential race concluded that Sputnik and RT were part of a Russian intelligence operation aimed at helping Donald Trump win the presidency.

USA intelligence agencies in January described RT America TV as "a Kremlin-financed channel operated from within the United States, (which) has substantially expanded its repertoire of programming that highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties".

The Russian law on foreign agents in recent years has been used on nongovernmental groups that do not toe the Kremlin party line. The organizations have disputed the decision.

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