WASHINGTON, October 25. /TASS/. The US law on foreign agents is being applied in a selective and politically motivated manner, the Russian embassy in the United States said on Tuesday, commenting on the possibility of it being applied to Russian media outlets.
"The main difference between the Russian and the US laws is the [degree of] universality. Events proved that the US law is being applied purely selectively and [its use is] politically motivated," the Russian embassy said in a statement.
"This is confirmed by the fact that major media, financed by Western powers, are not on the US list of foreign agents," the statement reads.
Commenting on US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert’s statement about the "pretty simple process" of registering as a foreign agent, the Russian embassy said the consequences of this procedure "are not as formal and painless as Ms. Nauert says."
"The Russian side has repeatedly stated that forcing Russian media in the United States to change their status to that of a foreign aghent may pose significant obstacles for their work and create problems for their reporting staff," the embassy said.
"Moscow has already announced that identical retaliatory measures to respond to the US government’s possible actions regarding the Russian media in the United Staes will inevitably follow," it said. "Once again, we call on to avoid creating another irritant in bilateral relations and to simply let the media do their job."
The US Department of State spokesperson earlier said that designation as a foreign agent does not "impact or affect the ability" of a media outlet "to report news and information."
Chief Editor of Russia’s RT TV channel Margarita Simonyan said earlier that the channel had been ordered to declare itself to be a foreign agent before October 17, which would force the publication of all the data concerning its staff members, their salaries, home addresses and telephone numbers. In case this is not done, serious measures will be taken against its staff members, who may even be arrested.
According to a CNN report, RT has so far failed to do so. However, US law experts were different in their assessments on what measures may be taken against the Russian TV channel if it fails to comply with the US demand.