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

11 November 2017

The US Department of Justice has said the US branch of Russia's RT television channel, RT America, should register as a foreign agent before November 13, the network reported on its website on Thursday.

"When it comes down to a fight with no rules, when the law is twisted and turned into an instrument for the destruction of a TV company, every step against a Russian media outlet will be met with a corresponding response", she said.

The Russian parliament on Friday signaled that it will force some American news outlets working there to register as foreign agents.

The Duma earlier this year launched an investigation into whether CNN, Voice of America, Radio Liberty and "other American media" were complying with Russian law. He stressed that foreign agent status could be very unsafe for RT staff and all those who interact with this TV channel.

Last month, Russian officials sent letters to news organizations in Russia that are backed by the US government, warning them of possible "restrictions".

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.

Charities and other civil society groups operating in Russian Federation have to register as "foreign agents" if they get any foreign funding.

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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.

"Reciprocal measures will be taken to impose the same limitations that Americans are trying to impose on Russian media based on the 1938 law on foreign agents", Tolstoi said.

"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.

"... While RT is able to work and distribute its content freely in the U.S., RFE/RL has lost all of its broadcast affiliates in Russian Federation due to administrative pressure, it has no access to cable TV, and its reporters are beaten and harassed", Levison said in an emailed comment.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment to The Post on Thursday.

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. The decision came in the wake of investigations into Kremlin attempts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. Memorial, one of Russia's oldest human rights groups, which has for three decades sought to expose Soviet mass killings and arrests, and the Levada Center, an independent polling agency, were registered as foreign agents by Russia's Ministry of Justice.

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a news briefing that Russia was now considering retaliatory measures against US media outlets. The organizations have disputed the decision.

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