MOSCOW – RT America, the U.S. arm of the Kremlin-backed TV station RT, has registered as a “foreign agent” in the United States, the outlet’s editor in chief said on Monday.
The U.S. Department of Justice has said RT needed to register as a “foreign agent” after accusations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in last year’s presidential election in favor of President Donald Trump.
Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations and said it views the actions against RT as an unfriendly act.
“Between a criminal case and registration, we chose the latter. We congratulate American freedom of speech and all those who still believe in it,” RT Editor in Chief Margarita Simonyan said on Twitter.
The U.S. Department of Justice was not immediately available for comment.
The U.S. Foreign Agent Registration Act requires foreign governments, political parties and the lobbyists and public relations firms they hire in the United States to register with the Department of Justice.
The law applies to companies that are owned or controlled by foreign governments.
Russia’s parliament warned on Friday that some U.S. and other foreign media could also be declared “foreign agents” in response to the actions against RT, requiring them to regularly declare full details of their funds, financing and staffing.
U.S. government-sponsored Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), CNN and Germany’s Deutsche Welle could all be affected by the retaliatory measures, a senior Russian lawmaker said earlier on Monday.