Russian media outlets broadcasting in Europe and the United States have been facing a barrage of accusations by Western officials about allegedly spreading fake news and attempting to influence public life, however, presenting no proof. Both Moscow and Russian media outlets have repeatedly denied the claims as false.
"There is a process underway to ensure any future funding or programs account for the most appropriate tactics and strategy — especially in countering propaganda from countries such as Russia that have minimal protections for free speech or the media," the spokesperson stated.
In January, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and National Security Agency (NSA) released a report accusing Russia of meddling in last year's US presidential election. The report did not provide any proof, citing confidentiality protocols, while its significant part was focused on RT and Sputnik. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other senior officials have repeatedly stated that Moscow refrains from meddling in internal affairs of foreign countries.
In November 2016, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution, which said that Sputnik and RT posed a danger to Europe's unity and called for extra European Commission funding for counter-propaganda projects. It also drew a parallel between the Russian media and the propaganda disseminated by Daesh, a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and numerous other states.