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    RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan

    RT's Registration as 'Foreign Agent' in US Hampers Work - Editor-in-Chief

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - RT's registration under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) has seriously affected the broadcaster's activities in the United States, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said in the interview with the Associated Press.

    "A lot… In fact, for us it means that we have our accreditations revoked; people, of course some of the people are leaving because it is tough for them morally to work as foreign agents; less guests are coming, and more importantly even a lot of our partners in the US are now telling us that they either have to cancel our agreements or reconsider the agreements, the prices, the conditions that we have had for many years," Simonyan said, asked how the registration affected RT's operations.

    She went on to say that the broadcaster was told that "FARA registration is just a registration" and that it "does not have any consequences, [and] is meant to serve the purposes of clarity, honesty, whatever." But, as Simonyan so clearly pointed out, the United States' actions had, in fact, led to a lot of consequences.

    READ MORE: Sputnik's Partner FARA Registration 'Purely Political' — Editor-in-Chief

    The editor-in-chief noted that the US authorities were only trying to make RT's operation more difficult and even impossible. She also recalled that Facebook and Twitter took decisions against the channel after they were invited to US Congress to give testimony within the framework of the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

    "I am so really tired of this argument that all we ever do is under Kremlin's orders… Tell me how is it even technically possible? I am not on the air, you know. You can probably imagine that I am giving orders from the Kremlin?… People like [US TV host] Larry King are on the air. Can you imagine that I call him and tell him what to say? Do you think it is even possible?… No, it is not," Simonyan said in an interview released on Monday.

    Simonyan went on to note that Larry King and Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, were among RT's on-air personalities, and that it was absolutely impossible to tell such people what to say.

    READ MORE: Chinese Media, Experts Blast FARA Registration Threat as ‘Reckless', 'Absurd'

    RT Editor-in-Chief Simonyan expressed hope in an interview that she was among the people Russian President Vladimir Putin trusted.

    "Maybe that's why he trusts me," Simonyan said in response to a question about whether it was possible to independently cover Russian affairs while being the president's authorized representative at the same time.

    In November 2017, the US branch of the Russian RT broadcaster registered as a "foreign agent" in the United States under FARA upon the request of the Department of Justice following repeated accusations that the channel allegedly meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.

    Congress as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are currently conducting two separate investigations into Russia's alleged interference, a claim dubbed groundless by the Kremlin.

    Related:

    US Rules Targeting RT, Sputnik May Undermine Trust in Foreign Journalism - UN
    French Activists Forgot Ideals of Liberty - Simonyan on Calls to Close RT France
    Simonyan on US Justice Department's FARA Remarks: 'RT Difficult to Mislead'
    Tags:
    Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), Margarita Simonyan, United States, Russia
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