Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

RT America forced to register as a 'foreign agent'

RT America forced to register as a 'foreign agent'

Media outlets that are "registered in another state or receive financial or other resources from foreign structures.or from Russian companies with foreign financing may be deemed foreign agents regardless of their organizational or legal form", he said.

As a media war between Russian Federation and the USA continues, Kremlin-funded TV network RT has reluctantly complied with the Justice Department's requirement and registered as a foreign agent, insisting the requirement to do so was an "infringement of freedom of speech".

Moscow believes that RT along with other Russian media outlets are oppressed by the USA government and has vowed repeatedly to retaliate.

T&R Productions, RT's content supplier, made the registration.

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In the weeks since RT said the U.S. Justice Department had instructed it to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), Russia has been working on legislation that would enable it to designate foreign-funded media "foreign agents".

Passed in 1938, the law applies to people or companies disseminating information in the USA on behalf of foreign governments, political parties and other "foreign principals".

The filing was made under news director Mikhail Solodovnikov, a former reporter for a Russian TV outlet who said in the forms that he is a US citizen by marriage. He is the sole member and owner over the LLC and produces the various shows for ANO TV-Novosti, according to the filing.

The issue of Russian propaganda in the United States has become a hot topic in the wake of the 2016 presidential election as lawmakers and intelligence officials have pointed to thousands of social media accounts directed from Russia that posed as Americans voicing their opinions on domestic political issues.

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Solodovnikov disputed the need for the FARA registration in the filing. The report said RT "conducts strategic messaging for [the] Russian government" and "seeks to influence politics, [and] fuel discontent in the U.S".

US government-sponsored Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), CNN and Germany's Deutsche Welle could all be affected by the retaliatory measures, a senior Russian lawmaker said earlier on Monday.

United States intelligence agencies allege that RT served as a tool for the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 United States presidential election. Last week Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that new action against American outlets would come this week.

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