"It is obvious that this work was carried out by London in order to build a new concept of information confrontation and to discredit the Russian media, including RT and Sputnik … Viewers and readers in the West no longer want to live in the Russophobia and cold war paradigm set by their government. We know for a long time that if they want to get an objective picture and unbiased information of what is happening, they will choose RT and Sputnik", Klintsevich said.
"The interest of the UK government in the activities of RT and Sputnik is clear and is due to the fact that these media successfully compete in the global information space, and especially in the Middle East, with the largest Western media holdings", Levin said.
He stressed that RT and Sputnik were the only serious alternative to a uniform Western media agenda.
"The willingness to cover sensitive topics concealed by other media, and a balanced approach to delivering diverse information determined the attitude toward RT and Sputnik as toward the only serious alternative to a uniform agenda of the Western media," Levin said.
Late on Friday, the group published documents and invoices, which it claims are the evidence showing that the UK state-funded Integrity Initiative project carries out analysis of the activities of the UK opposition Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, as well as of Sputnik and RT, with the use of UK taxpayers’ money.
The situation around Russian media in the West has become increasingly difficult in recent years. In November 2016, the European Parliament voted in favour of a resolution to counter alleged Russian anti-EU propaganda.
A number of Western politicians, including those in the United Kingdom, the United States and France, have accused Sputnik and RT of interfering in elections and spreading propaganda, without providing any evidence.
In September, UK Prime Minister Theresa May even warned members of parliament against appearing on RT, arguing that they allegedly risk being used as a "tool of propaganda for the Russian state." Russian officials have repeatedly stressed that Moscow does not meddle in other countries' affairs and pointed out that the allegations of Russia tampering with votes in other countries had been unsubstantiated.