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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, October 20, 2017

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Kremlin vows payback after U.S. crackdown on Russian media

Washington continues its crackdown on Russian

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MOSCOW, Russia - As America continues intensifying pressure on Russian media houses, Kremlin has now said that it is not ruling out retaliatory measures on U.S. crackdown on its media.

On Friday, the Kremlin said that if Washington continues its crackdown on Russian media outlets in the U.S., it won’t rule out tit-for-tat measures.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that a number of Russian outlets are under “unprecedented pressure,” which “significantly hampers the activities of Russian media in some Western countries, first of all in the US.”

Peskov said that in the event of further U.S. government restrictions on Russian media, Moscow “can’t rule out retaliatory actions.”

Further, the Kremlin has said that the U.S. actions towards Russian media outlets are “a violation of freedom of speech and press.”

Peskov added, “We hope that such a crackdown on our media, in this case I'm talking about RT and Sputnik in the US, won’t go unnoticed by the relevant international groups whose duties include monitoring the [violations] of freedom of speech and freedom of press.”

Further, he has denied having any information on reports that the Russian General Prosecutor's Office could announce that some American media outlets are persona non grata in Russia.

On Thursday, at a meeting of the Russian Federation Council’s Interim Committee on the Protection of Sovereignty, RT’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, said that the news channel’s American branch could face staff arrests and property seizures if it fails to register itself as a “foreign agent” by October 17.

The U.S. Department of Justice has made the demand. 

The meeting on Thursday reportedly focused on the problems Russian media is facing in the U.S.

In 1938, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was adopted to counter pro-Nazi agitation on U.S. soil. 

The act has been put in place so that “the people of the United States are informed of the source of information (propaganda) and the identity of persons attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy, and laws.” 

On Thursday, the Russian Union of Journalists reportedly expressed concern over the U.S. pressure towards the Russian media. 

The union said in a statement, "Unprecedented measures carried out by the U.S. authorities towards our [Russian] media, constant obstruction of journalists’ activity, lawless methods of economic pressure – all these can be called an open ‘witch-hunt.’”

It added that such methods were used during the Cold War and that America’s intention to include Russian media on a list of foreign agents is merely “political.”

 

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