Russian parliament mulls response to United States move on RT

Katrina Barker
November 11, 2017

"As of today, there is understanding that a practical phase of these response measures (in respect of USA media in Russian Federation over demands the RT broadcaster register itself as a foreign agent in the U.S.) will begin next week".

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.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russian Federation would retaliate, but did not elaborate. It would require RT to label anything it produces - making it clear its reports are distributed on behalf of the Russian state. 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.

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.

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

The threat of retaliation against USA media from the Kremlin is the latest in a diplomatic standoff that has resulted in both Moscow and Washington being forced to reduce embassy staff and give up diplomatic compounds.

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.

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. "It deprives us of fair competition with other worldwide channels, which are not registered as foreign agents".

Last Thursday, Twitter announced it would drop advertising by RT and Sputnik-owned accounts on its network due to their alleged meddling in the USA presidential election a year ago.

In its January report, USA intelligence called RT "the Kremlin's principal global propaganda outlet", saying it was part of "Russia's state-run propaganda machine", which had "contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging".

RT began operations in 2005 under the brand Russia Today, claiming to present the Russian view on global news and to cover stories ignored by mainstream Western news media. The decision came in the wake of investigations into Kremlin attempts to interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election.

"The Russian side has repeatedly warned that any measures limiting activity of the Russian mass media in the United States will inevitably trigger an immediate symmetrical response, as provided for in the Russian legislation", the Russian Embassy in the U.S. The organizations have disputed the decision.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

Discuss This Article