WASHINGTON, November 9. /TASS/. Russia’s embassy in the United States has called on organizations which monitor the situation with the mass media in the United States to comment on the US authorities’ demand that the Russian RT television channel register as a foreign agent.
"We call on organizations that monitor the situation with the mass media in the United States to provide an adequate reaction. We wander what the OSCE’s reaction could be," the embassy said on its Facebook account on Thursday.
The US authorities, which demand that the Russian RT television channel register itself as a foreign agent, demonstrate a double-standard approach and are seeking to deteriorate relations with Russia, the Russian embassy to the United States said on Thursday.
"RT’s structures in the United States have been faced with an ultimatum to register as a foreign agent before November 13. Otherwise, their employees could be arrested and their accounts could be blocked. Routine work of RT journalists in the United States has already been disrupted," the embassy said.
The embassy underscored that such demands have ever been put to no other foreign media working in the United States. "The US authorities have created a dangerous precedent and demonstrated another example of double standards," the embassy stressed. Moscow has repeatedly warned that "any restrictions on the activities of Russian mass media in the United States will inevitable entail tit-for-tat measures," which are envisaged by Russian laws. These signals however have been ignored.
"Crude pressure on Russian media indicates that the US side has opted for the path of deliberate deterioration of relations. We consider its demands as a tool to remove a source of alternative information and an inadmissible violation of international norms of the freedom of the press," the embassy said.
Earlier, the US Department of Justice demanded that the US branch of the Russian television broadcaster RT should have itself registered as a foreign agent before November 13. Otherwise the bank accounts of the RT’s branch in the United States may be frozen and its chief put under arrest.
Earlier on Thursday, RT Managing Director Alexey Nikolov said at a meeting of the Provisional Commission of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) on Information Policy and Media Interaction that he had not registered as a foreign agent in the US.
RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said later that RT would have to register itself as a foreign agent as otherwise it would have no possibility to operate in the United States.