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Kremlin TV Network RT Registers As 'Foreign Agent' in US
14 November 2017, 03:11 | Opal Carroll
US intelligence agencies have alleged RT, formerly known as Russia Today, is a propaganda outlet for the Kremlin that helped fuel political disputes in 2016.
T&R Productions LLC, a corporation based in Washington, registered with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as an agent for ANO TV-Novosti, which controls the RT network's worldwide broadcasts.
Moscow said measures requiring media outlets such as United States government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to register as foreign agents could be passed by the Russian parliament as early as Wednesday.
Russia's state-funded television channel RT has registered as foreign agent, according to a post Monday on the station's Russian-language website.
Amid increased pressure on RT America by US authorities over the alleged interference in the US elections, the US Department of Justice demanded last week the broadcaster's registration under FARA until Monday, November 13, with Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan calling the deadline "cannibalistic".
Members of parliament meanwhile have given contradictory statements on whether the Russian law could apply to commercial TV network CNN.
After that report, the Department of Justice insisted that RT America comply with registration requirements under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).
FARA, passed in the run-up to World War II as a means of exposing pro-Nazi propagandists in the United States, requires that Americans working on behalf of foreign governments register with the USA government. "The law does not restrict registrants from operating, however".
The filing was made under news director Mikhail Solodovnikov, a former reporter for a Russian TV outlet who said in the forms that he is a US citizen by marriage.
Foreign governments and political parties are required to register with the DOJ under FARA, in addition to the lobbyists and public relations firms they hire. The report said RT "conducts strategic messaging for [the] Russian government" and "seeks to influence politics, [and] fuel discontent in the U.S". Yahoo News has separately reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed a former Sputnik correspondent about his work at the website.
The assessment also said RT America "has positioned itself as a domestic U.S. channel and has deliberately sought to obscure any legal ties to the Russian government", but that behind the scenes, "the Kremlin staffs RT and closely supervises RT's coverage, recruiting people who can convey Russian strategic messaging due to their ideological beliefs".
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