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    Moscow: RT, Sputnik Ban by Twitter Reflects Its Dependence on US Establishment

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    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has commented on Twitter's decision to ban RT ads in the wake of the US Senate's hearing with the tech giants as part of a probe into Moscow's alleged meddling into the November 2016 presidential election.

    "By imposing this ban, Twitter demonstrates its commercial insolvency and absolute dependence on the will of the US security establishment, which directly controls the decision-making process in this company, as we see it at the moment," according to Russia Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova's statement at a press briefing.

    The spokesperson urged all users of social networks to make corresponding conclusions in light of this situation. As she claimed, Twitter can ban media or business representatives in any country depending on the political situation.

    READ MORE: Twitter, Facebook Slam Russia for Election Meddling Despite 'No Clear Evidence'

    "Of course, Washington's policy for further degradation of US-Russian relations is regrettable. This is an absolutely short-sighted policy, fraught with negative consequences, including for the United States itself," Zakharova concluded.

    The statement comes after the October 26 Twitter decision to off-board advertising from all RT and Sputnik accounts, expaining the move by the US investigation into Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. 

    While the Sputnik news agency has stated in its press-release that it had never paid for promotion on Twitter, RT has responded with numbers — the broadcaster's editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, has revealed the amount of money spent on Twitter ads during the US election race; the number totals $275,000, in comparison to the presidential nominees who spent about $1 billion each.

    READ MORE: RT Spent Less on Twitter Ads Than US Presidential Campaigns' Costs — Simonyan

    Simonyan has also disclosed the full content of a presentation with Twitter's offer on RT advertisement campaign during the US election, which was later rejected by the outlet.

    READ MORE: RT Spent Less on Twitter Ads Than US Presidential Campaigns' Costs — Simonyan

    Russia's Position

    Moscow's position on the issue was also voiced earlier in the day by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, who reiterated that Russia would give a mirror response if pressure on Russian media abroad continued.

    READ MORE: Twitter's Decision to Ban Ads From RT, Sputnik 'is About Politics,' Analyst Says

    "But the main thing in this whole situation is that we are trying to avoid further aggravation of the conflict and we believe that this depends ultimately on whether the unacceptable pressure on the Russian media in the US, primarily, on RT and Sputnik, continues or not," Ryabkov stressed.

    According to the Russian diplomat, the existing legislation in Russia allows, if necessary, to declare the foreign media outlets operating in the country as '"foreign agents" or "undesirable organizations."

    READ MORE: Russian MP Calls Google, Facebook, Twitter Testimony in US Congress a Victory

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously vowed to give a mirror-like response if the US decides to further restrict activities of Russian media outlets.

    Tags:
    Sputnik, RT, Twitter, United States, Russia
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