MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. The US branch of the RT TV channel will have to register itself as foreign agent, RT Chief Editor Margarita Simonyan said in a statement on Thursday.
"The US Department of Justice has left us no choice, lawyers say that if we fail to register as a foreign agent, then the head of our US branch may get arrested, as well as the company’s accounts, so under such conditions, the company will not be able to operate," she said. "So we prefer to register as a foreign agent rather than face such consequences, though we strongly oppose this demand," Simonyan added.
According to her, the TV channel plans to prove in court that the demand put forward by the US Department of Justice is contrary to law, as well as to the principles of democracy and the freedom of expression.
"This demand is a discriminatory one, it is contrary to the principles of democracy and the freedom of expression, it deprives us of the opportunity to equally compete with other foreign channels, which operate in the United States without branding themselves foreign agents," the RT chief editor stressed.
The US Department of Justice earlier demanded that the US branch of RT brand itself a foreign agent before November 13.
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the situation saying that RT was a victim of prejudice towards Russian media. The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, said that the current legislation allowed for declaring foreign media outlets operating in Russia as foreign agents or undesirable organizations, so Moscow was ready to give a tough tit-for-tat response in case Washington continued to press its unacceptable demands.