Russian Federation moves to restrict USA media operations in response to RT clampdown


RT has registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent of Russian Federation. RT said it complied with a USA demand to make the filing by November 13 or face prosecution.

RT, which is headquartered in Moscow and was formerly known as Russia Today, is accused by the USA government of being a propaganda outlet for the Kremlin.

T&R Productions LLC, which has created content for RT since 2014, filed the disclosure Monday under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA. The paperwork lists Mikhail V. Solodovnikov as the sole owner of T&R. "Those who invented it, have buried it", RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan was quoted as saying at the time.

Roskomnadzor, the Russian telecoms watchdog, has also requested that it be given exceptional powers to block the websites of foreign media outlets and those of non-governmental organisations without first having to seek a court order.

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A Russian broadcaster identified in January by the US intelligence community as a Kremlin propaganda arm registered as an agent of the Russian government on Monday, the US Department of Justice said.

Just last month, social media giant Twitter announced it would off-board ads from RT and another outlet - Sputnik - based on the US intelligence community's claim that both outlets acted on behalf of the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election.

The Department of Justice sent a letter to RT America back in September ordering that it register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) because of their work for their Russian parent company, Simonyan said Thursday.

The embassy warned restrictions on the activities of Russian media "would inevitably entail immediate and reciprocal measures".

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US intelligence agencies said in a report in January that the television station, which broadcasts on cable in the United States, is "Russia's state-run propaganda machine" and that it contributed to the Kremlin's campaign to interfere with last year's presidential election in favor of Republican Party candidate Donald Trump.

FARA requires detailed disclosures of the activities of individuals and organizations that attempt to influence USA policy or public opinion for foreign governments and government-controlled organizations.

Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations of election meddling and said it views the actions against RT as an unfriendly act. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), have said the department has a poor track record of making firms and individuals follow the law.

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