Kremlin TV Network RT Registers As 'Foreign Agent' in US

Kremlin TV Network RT Registers As 'Foreign Agent' in US

An RT television broadcast van is seen parked outside the Luzhniki stadium ahead of an worldwide soccer match in Moscow.

While RT America will comply with the DOJ's demand and register as a "foreign agent", the company will challenge the decision in court, Simonyan said.

Dana Boente, the acting assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement that Washington-based T&R Productions, LLC, "registered today with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as an agent for ANO TV-Novosti, the Russian government entity responsible for the worldwide broadcasts of the RT Network (RT)".

The 1938 law, created to target Nazi propaganda, has been the driving force behind escalating U.S. -Russia tensions in recent weeks.

But RT's editor in chief, Margarita Simonyan, said on Monday that it would comply with the demand in order to avoid further legal action by the USA government. The paperwork lists Mikhail V. Solodovnikov as the sole owner of T&R. Foreign media companies are generally exempt from registration unless they are controlled by a foreign government. "Those who invented it, have buried it", RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan was quoted as saying at the time.

A Russian broadcaster identified in January by the US intelligence community as a Kremlin propaganda arm registered as an agent of the Russian government on Monday, the US Department of Justice said.

He went on to call the Justice Department's move "an obviously discriminatory measure" and that it is aimed at media that are "inconvenient" for USA authorities.

The American affiliation of RT filed all the required document with the U.S. Department of Justice for registration as a foreign agent, RT news service deputy director Alexei Kuznetsov said earlier, adding that the channel had no other choice given the situation it had been forced into.

The embassy warned restrictions on the activities of Russian media "would inevitably entail immediate and reciprocal measures".

State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said last week that the USA sanctions against RT should prompt similar measures against American mass media and its "unconcealed interference" in Russia's internal politics.

Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations of election meddling and said it views the actions against RT as an unfriendly act.

"Americans have a right to know who is acting in the United States to influence the US government or public on behalf of foreign principals", Dana Boente, acting assistant attorney general for national security, said.