05:35 GMT +324 October 2019
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    US State Department: Registering Under FARA Will Not Impact Russian Media in US

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    The US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said that registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) would not affect the news coverage of the Russian media outlets in the United States.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) —  "When the United States tells someone to register under a foreign agent requirement, we don’t impact or affect the ability of them to report news and information," Heather Nauert said on Tuesday at a press briefing. "We just have them register. It’s as simple as that…all they have to do is register, and it’s a pretty simple process."

    Nauert added that registration under FARA is triggered when an entity engages in "political activity." The spokesperson also claimed during the press briefing that Russia handles the issue of foreign agents differently.

    "Russia’s foreign agent law has been interpreted to apply to organizations that receive even minimum funding from any foreign sources, government or private, and engage in political activity defined so broadly as it covers nearly all civic advocacy," she said.

    In September, the editor-in-chief of the RT broadcaster Margarita Simonyan called the US authorities' request to register a contractor of RT in the United States as a foreign agent, unlawful. Simonyan has emphasized that following the registration under FARA the media outlet might be compelled to disclose the corporate and personal data of its employees, thus ultimately aggravating the entire broadcaster's working process and the proper daily news coverage in the US.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Moscow would respond to any restrictions on the work of Russian media outlets in the United States "swiftly and symmetrically."

    The Russian Foreign Agent law, adopted five years ago, obliges non-governmental organizations that are engaged in political activity and receive any funding from abroad to register as "foreign agents" in Russia and include the label on all of their publications.

    The US Foreign Agents Registration Act, passed in 1938, requires that the agents representing the interests of foreign powers disclose their relationship with the foreign government and reveal their related activities and finances.


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