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Moscow drafts 'reciprocal measures' over USA demands on Russia Today
11 November 2017, 12:59 | Sherry Padilla
Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen at the headquarters of the"Russia Today television channel in Moscow in 2013
"As of today, there is understanding that a practical phase of these response measures (in respect of U.S. media in Russian Federation over demands the RT broadcaster register itself as a foreign agent in the US) will begin next week".
"This requirement is discriminatory, it contradicts the principles of democracy and freedom of speech, it does not give us equal competition with other foreign TV channels that work in America without being registered as foreign agents", she said.
"It deprives us of fair competition with other global channels, which are not registered as foreign agents", she was quoted as saying by RT.
Last month, Russian officials sent letters to news organizations in Russia that are backed by the USA government, warning them of possible "restrictions".
The current Russian law does not restrict activity, but requires organizations to place the "foreign agent" label on all their documents.
On Thursday, RT Managing Director Alexey Nikolov said at a meeting of the Provisional Commission of Russia's Federation Council (upper house of parliament) on Information Policy and Media Interaction that he had not registered as a foreign agent in the U.S. within the period of time set by the USA authorities.
"Every media now has its own pages in social networks, which also publish their news, articles and videos".
The Department of Justice originally set a November 13 deadline for RT to register as a foreign agent in the wake of the federal and congressional probes into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.
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".
"The US Department of Justice wheeled out a cannibalistic Monday deadline", she tweeted.
Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, said the Parliament could back such a legislation as early as next week, arguing that some USA media were attempting to turn public opinion in Russia, Reuters reported.
An intelligence report in January alleged the outlet spearheaded "strategic messaging for [the] Russian government", fueling political conflicts in the US during the 2016 campaign. 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.
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 previous year.
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