Earlier it was reported that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) questioned former Sputnik employee Andrew Feinberg as part of the investigation of reports that the agency allegedly acted as a Russian propaganda agency in violation of the US Foreign Agents Act (FARA).
At the same time, the portal claimed that the FBI also received access to Sputnik's working correspondence of Feinberg and another former employee of the agency's Washington bureau, Joseph John Fionda.
"There is no doubt that Russia will respond to the FBI investigation in the same way and will check the work of American journalists in Moscow. It's disgusting. Freedom of speech is turning in its grave. It was killed by those who created it," Margarita Simonyan told RIA Novosti.
The FBI itself did not respond to the official inquiry on whether it conducted an investigation against the agency within two days, Mindia Gavasheli, editor-in-chief of the Sputnik Bureau in Washington DC, said.
According to Gavasheli, "the request was sent on Saturday to the National Security Division of the US Justice Department to confirm or deny information that an investigation is underway in relation to Sputnik." Gavasheli specified that he indicated the willingness to answer FBI's questions, if any arise.
"There had been no reply yet. Unfortunately, the media reports that an investigation is being conducted against us are not surprising, since the atmosphere of hysteria in relation to everything that belongs to Russia has been created in the country, and everything with the word 'Russian' is seen through prism of spy mania. We are journalists, and mostly Americans work here. We believe that any assumption that we are engaged in anything other than journalism is an absolute lie and fabrication," Gavasheli pointed out.