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1ST LEAD Russia seeks revenge as RT forced to register as foreign agent in US By Peter Spinella, dpa

Europe
13.11.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Moscow (dpa) - Russian state funded news outlet RT has registered as a foreign agent in the United States after facing a threat of criminal charges by US authorities, RT chief editor Margarita Simonyan said Monday in a statement.

Last week Simonyan said US authorities had threatened to arrest the head of the company‘s US operations if the request was not fulfilled.

US officials have been looking into allegations that the Russian government attempted to interfere in the US presidential election last year, possibly to benefit Donald Trump, who had expressed personal admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia‘s parliament in recent days has been drafting legislation directed at US news outlets in response to the pressure on RT, formerly known as Russia Today. The legislation is expected to be approved by Russia‘s lower house of parliament this week.

A senior Russian lawmaker, Andrei Isayev, suggested that the legislation could be used to force the US news outlets CNN, Radio Liberty and Voice of America, as well as German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, to register as foreign agents in Russia.

Last month the US-based social network Twitter said RT and another Russian state-funded news outlet, Sputnik, could no longer advertise on the platform after the US intelligence community concluded that both had attempted to interfere in the US election on behalf of the Russian government.

US officials are currently trying to determine whether associates of Trump illegally colluded with the Russian government during his campaign. In the run-up to the election, Trump suggested he would get along well with Putin and vowed to mend frayed ties between the two world powers.

Trump‘s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the latter‘s business associate Richard Gates were charged last month with conspiracy, money laundering and lobbying violations related to Manafort‘s work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

 

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