Russian Federation prepares to label U.S. media as 'foreign agents'

Kristopher Drake
November 11, 2017

The 2012 Russian law now applies only to non-governmental organizations that receive foreign funding and are considered to engage in political activity.

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".

State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said Friday the lower house of parliament will amend the law on foreign agents to include foreign media. "We consider its demand as a wish to eliminate an alternative source of information, which is an unacceptable violation of the worldwide norms of free press", the statement said.

Last month, social media giant Twitter took the unprecedented step of banning RT and Sputnik advertisements in response to allegations they were part of a Russian effort to spread misinformation during the 2016 election.

"All actions of American media outlets indicate that their policy and positions are totally unfriendly and that this interference is absolutely undisguised", Volodin said.

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


Tensions between the US and Russian Federation have escalated steadily since President Donald Trump came to power in January, as his campaign promises to improve relations have faltered under the pressure of mounting investigations into the allegations that Russian Federation helped secure his victory.

"Every media now has its own pages in social networks, which also publish their news, articles and videos". According to CBS, "failure to register could mean the arrest of the channel's American director and the freezing of its accounts".

The Justice Department set a deadline of November 13 for RT to register as a foreign agency based on accusations that the Russian government-funded cable news network and website was a Kremlin propaganda outlet.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday in an interview on Russian television that Russia is working on practical steps in response to US government pressure on Russian-government owned media operating in the U.S. "It deprives us of fair competition with other worldwide channels, which are not registered as foreign agents". Such a registration would require any reporting to be labeled as being financed or influenced by the Russian government, among other restrictions.

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.

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

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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