Russian parliament mulls response to U.S. move on RT

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen at the headquarters of the

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen at the headquarters of the"Russia Today television channel in Moscow in 2013

Nikolov noted that foreign agent status implies a wide range of measures by the USA authorities, but no one knows what exactly can follow after this status is acquired.

"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", Simonyan was quoted as saying by RT.

Russia's parliament warned on Friday some us and other foreign media could be declared "foreign agents" and obliged to regularly declare full details of their funding, finances and staffing.

Russian news media and social media actors have come under scrutiny after USA intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russia sought to interfere with the US presidential election to help Donald Trump win.

"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 current Russian law does not restrict activity, but requires organizations to place the "foreign agent" label on all their documents.

The threat of retaliation against USA media from the Kremlin is the latest in a diplomatic standoff that has resulted in both Moscow and Washington being forced to reduce embassy staff and give up diplomatic compounds. "Since such decisions are being made on USA territory in relation to our TV channels, it will be right for us to respond to these actions".

San Francisco-based social network Twitter has also angered Russian authorities when it accused RT and the Sputnik news outlet of interfering in the 2016 US election and banned them from buying ads on its network.

That much was revealed by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in an interview on Russian television. "Our lawyers say that if we don't register as a foreign agent, the director of our company in America could be arrested, and the accounts of the company could be seized. Between those consequences and registering as a foreign agent, we are forced to choose registration".

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 a year ago.

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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