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Moscow plans retaliation to "US pressure on Russian media"

Moscow plans retaliation to

Russian lawmakers said the move was retaliation for a demand by the U.S. Department of Justice that Kremlin-backed TV station RT register in the United States as a "foreign agent", something Moscow has said it regards as an unfriendly act.

She said the demands contradicted both democracy and freedom of speech. "Between those consequences and registering as a foreign agent, we are forced to choose registration".

US and any other foreign media that fall under the new restrictions could have to regularly disclose to Russian authorities full details of their funding, finances and staffing and might be obliged to say on their social media profiles and internet sites visible in Russia that they are "foreign agents".

The Kremlin-funded channel denies assertions by USA intelligence agencies that it acted as a propaganda arm of the Russian government in efforts to influence last year's presidential election.

Russian lawmakers raced Friday to draft measures requiring U.S. media outlets and possibly social media networks to register as foreign agents, saying they could be adopted as early as next week.

Deputy speaker Sergei Neverov said the amendments would also refer to social networks. Simonyan said the head of RT's US subsidiary risked detention and the organization's bank accounts could be frozen if it didn't register.

RT began operations in 2005 under the brand Russia Today, claiming to present the Russian view on global news and to cover stories ignored by mainstream Western news media.

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"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.

CNN, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were named as likely targets for the new Russian law.

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

The U.S. intelligence agencies allege that RT served as a tool for the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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 past year.

The government of Russian Federation in a tit-for-tat response to U.S.

The Justice Department gave RT America, the US arm of the Russian company, until Monday to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, RT's editor said Thursday. 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.

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