MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, has instructed the parliament’s information policy committee to work out mirror-like measures to the pressure on RT in the United States.
"It would be correct if our relevant committee worked out mirror proposals which would allow our country to take steps to protect the citizens from our country from undisguised interference which the US media developed in Russia," he said during a plenary session.
The Russian embassy in the US has condemned the US Justice Department demand for RT America's registration under FARA by November 13, saying that it creates a dangerous precedent and "once again demonstrates double standards," while the broadcaster's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan has called the deadline "cannibalistic" and "discriminatory."
"We believe that this demand is not only against the law, which we plan to prove in court. This demand is discriminatory, it contradicts the principles of democracy and freedom of speech, it bars us from equal competition with our foreign broadcasters working in the United States and are not registered as foreign agents," Simonyan said, as quoted by RT.
The decision is similar to the recently adopted draft of the US defense budget, which is going further, stipulating a ban on the broadcasting of all state-owned Russian TV channels. The document has already been criticized by Russian authorities, including the country's foreign ministry and the media watchdog.
Alexey Pushkov, the head of Russia’s Federation Council commission on information policy, told Sputnik that Russian restrictive measures will most likely target four US media outlets – CNN, Voice of America, Current Time TV and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
“There are three or four candidates for the introduction of restrictive measures, including limiting access to them in cable TV packages – this is CNN, Voice of America, Current Time TV and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,” Pushkov said.
The pressure on Russian media in the US, has intensified within the last year in the wake of the presidential election, with the US Congress accusing RT of alleged attempts to meddle in the country's affairs, a claim repeatedly denied by the Kremlin and Simonyan, who has slammed the US authorities for putting unprecedented pressure on the broadcaster.