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Russian Federation prepares to label USA media as 'foreign agents'

Russian Federation prepares to label USA media as 'foreign agents'

According to the BBC, media such as CNN, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were named as possible targets for the new law.

The measures, which are being prepared ahead of Russia's presidential election in March, would be a huge blow to already tattered US-Russia ties.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, said Friday he had ordered a committee to develop a counter-response "to allow us to take steps to protect the citizens of our country and our country itself from overt interference" of USA media in Russian Federation. "They are planning to apply a USA law to Russia Today and Sputnik news agency", Volodin said.

RT denies that it is an agent of the Russian government and says on its site that it offers "stories overlooked by mainstream media" and "alternative perspectives".

"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.

Deputy speaker Sergei Neverov said the amendments would also refer to social networks.

"Our law on foreign agents does not apply to media".




Lawmakers said the existing law would be amended to include media groups.

RT's chief editor, Margarita Simonyan, said the outlet would register by the deadline but planned to challenge the decision in a USA court.

Speaking on national television late Thursday, Simonyan said the demand would hinder the channel's work in the United States because it would have to publicise internal documents including their employees' addresses and salaries. "There are a huge number of limitations". "The demand is discriminative, it contradicts both the democracy and freedom of speech principles". "Between those consequences and registering as a foreign agent, we are forced to choose registration".

Simonyan also denounced the U.S. move in a caustic tweet. The Justice Department declined to comment to The Associated Press. "Can you feel the smell of freedom?"

"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.

"As soon as we see concrete steps limiting the activities of our media, there will be a retaliatory response", Putin said at the time.

RT has been singled out as a propaganda outlet in the wake of alleged Russian meddling in the United States presidential vote.

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