The Kremlin-financed RT channel will be registered in the U.S. as a foreign agent, but will appeal this in court, as stated by the editor-in-chief of RT Margarita Simonyan.
“The American Ministry of Justice left us no choice. Lawyers say that if we do not register as a foreign agent, then the head of the company in America can be arrested and company accounts may be seized. The company cannot function under such circumstances,” she said.
A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that next week Russia could take “measures” against the American media.
Problems with the television station arose against the backdrop of the investigation of possible Russian intervention in the U.S. elections in 2016. In the first half of September, RT reported that the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to a company working with RT America requiring it to register under the 1938 law against the dissemination of Nazi propaganda in the country.
Earlier, the Federation Council discussed the issue of restricting the activities of foreign media – in particular Radio Liberty and Voice of America – in Russia.
In the United States, individuals or legal entities that represent the interests of foreign states in a “political or quasi-political role” are legally required to register as foreign agents. Such registration involves the disclosure of connections with the foreign government and information on related activities and the funding it has received.
The Russian TV network, known abroad as RT, calls itself independent, but firmly pursues the Kremlin’s political line and is funded from the Russian budget. It has also been repeatedly exposed for distributing distorted or completely false information, slanting its reporting of events in favor of Moscow’s position.