US wants Russia Today to register as a 'foreign agent'

The US Department of Justice has demanded that the Russian television company RT (Russia Today) register a company that provides services for the representative office of RT in the US as a "foreign agent", RT reports.

A letter from the US Justice Department said that RT must register in accordance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires the disclosure of lobbyists and lawyers representing the political interests of other states.

RT did not name the company in its message, but said that it "supplies all services for RT America channel, including TV production and operations, in the US." The Ministry of Justice did not confirm or comment on these reports. RT "is consulting with our attorneys and ... examining the request," media outlet France-Presse cites Anna Belkina, Head of Communications for RT, as saying. On its website, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan accused the United States of starting a war with the Russian media.

"The war the US establishment wages with our journalists is dedicated to all the starry-eyed idealists who still believe in freedom of speech. Those who invented it, have buried it,” she said. In a US intelligence report in January, it was concluded that Russia intervened in the presidential election in 2016 and RT was noted in particular, being called the "main international propaganda channel of the Kremlin."

The report says that RT America "has positioned itself as a domestic U.S channel and has deliberately sought to obscure any legal ties to the Russian Government." The report also says that RT signed a contract with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which published internal emails of the Democratic National Committee during the election. Some RT staff "actively collaborated with WikiLeaks" during the presidential election, the intelligence report said. After the release of this report, the Russian broadcaster became the center of the investigation of the alleged Russian interference in the elections in Congress and in the Department of Justice.

The US law on foreign agents was adopted during the Second World War to shed light on who works for foreign governments in Washington.

  Russia Today, USA, foreign agent, Russia, USA