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Moscow plans retaliation to "US pressure on Russian media"
11 November 2017, 12:56 | Darnell Patrick
RT Chief Editor Margarita Simonyan
Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma, said parliament could back legislation as early as next week in response to what lawmakers view as US pressure on Russian media.
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".
FARA requires registration "if an agent disseminates informational materials, by mail or by any means or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce, and intends the materials to be disseminated among two or more persons".
"All actions of American media outlets indicate that their policy and positions are totally unfriendly and that this interference is absolutely undisguised", Volodin said. The restrictions were criticized by the USA and the European Union.
"Our law on foreign agents doesn't apply to media but since they are taking such measures against our channels in the USA, we should respond to these unfriendly acts", Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the lower house of parliament, said Friday in comments posted on the State Duma's website.
Twitter has already banned advertising from RT and Sputnik, another Russian news outlet. "Between those consequences and registering as a foreign agent, we are forced to choose registration".
Washington has been fighting what it calls a barrage of "fake news" from Russian media, including RT and the Sputnik news agency, which it says is aimed at interfering in U.S. domestic politics.
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In a statement posted to its Facebook account Thursday night, the Russian Embassy in the United States said the Justice Department's decision "created a unsafe precedent".
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.
CNN, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were named as likely targets for the new Russian law.
In the past, the ministry also has mentioned CNN, which does not receive USA government funds, but is a frequent target of criticism by the Russian government for what it says is anti-Russian bias in its reporting.
Last Thursday, Twitter announced it would drop advertising by RT and Sputnik-owned accounts on its network due to their alleged meddling in the US presidential election a year ago.
Human rights groups have condemned the label, who say it echoes Soviet-era attacks on dissidents.
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