Russia Threatens Retaliatory Restrictions on US Media Outlets

Says Moves Would Be Similar to What US Is Doing to RT

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova is warning that Russia is considering applying restrictions to certain US media outlets in retaliation for recent US measures taken against Russia’s RT news channel.

Last month, the US Justice Department ordered RT to register as a “foreign agent,” which requires them to make a massive number of disclosures. The Foreign Agent Registration Act was meant to target foreign lobbyists and politicians, and had virtually never been used against journalists before.

US lawmakers had been hyping RT as a “propaganda” network, complaining about their narrative being dissimilar on key issues from domestic US media. Yet other nations’ media across the world often differs with US media priorities, and the moves against RT are unheard of.

Zakharova says Russia prefers not to place any restrictions on foreign media, noting it has not done so since the fall of the Soviet Union. A 1991 Russian law does permit “proportionate restrictions” on media outlets from a country if Russia media is restricted in that country, however, and this may be a first application of that law.

Russian officials did not say which US outlets would be targeted, though Voice of America and Radio Free Europe are structured nearly identically to RT, so they would be likely first targets in such a measure.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.