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Russia not eyeing branding US media outlets undesirable organizations — prosecutor

October 18, 17:39 UTC+3

As a response to the US steps, Russia may also cut back the number of accredited journalists and conduct probes as to whether the US media outlets abide by the Russian labor and tax laws

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© AP Photo/Butch Dill

SOCHI, October 18. /TASS/. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has not yet considered the possibility to declare a number of US media outlets undesirable organizations as a response to Washington’s steps against Russian media, Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika told reporters on Wednesday.

"We have not yet considered this issue," Chaika said. When asked if this issue could be considered, he said that it was "hard to say."

Chief Editor of Russia’s RT TV channel Margarita Simonyan said earlier that the channel had been ordered to declare itself a foreign agent before October 17, which would force it to publicize all data on its staff members, their salaries, home addresses and telephone numbers. If this is not done, stringent measures will be taken against its staff members, who may even be arrested.

According to a Russian government source, the country’s Justice Ministry has sent a formal notice to a number of the US media outlets, particularly those controlled by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), including the Voice of America and Radio Liberty, informing them about the upcoming changes to the Russian legislation, which concern the list of non-commercial organizations that could be declared foreign agents.

As a response to the US steps, Russia may also cut back the number of accredited journalists and conduct probes as to whether the US media outlets abide by the Russian labor and tax laws. Besides, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has the powers to declare any US media outlet an undesirable organization, provided it is found guilty of meddling in Russia’s domestic affairs.

According to the source, since the current foreign agent law is limited, an initiative will be made to expand the list of organizations falling within the law's scope, particularly media outlets oin the list and making it possible to declare individuals, who receive funding from abroad, foreign agents. After amendments to the legislation are made, the US media outlets may be requested to register as foreign agents.

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