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24 November 201700:46

Russia responds in a mirror manner, relations with the US are heading toward the Cold War

Russia responds in a mirror manner, relations with the US are heading toward the Cold War
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The State Duma of Russia approved in the third reading amendments to the law on information, thanks to which foreign media can be given the status of a foreign agent. Then the law should be approved by the Federation Council, and then it will be sent for signature to the president
The State Duma of Russia approved in the third reading amendments to the law on information, thanks to which foreign media can be given the status of a foreign agent. Then the law should be approved by the Federation Council, and then it will be sent for signature to the president.

According to the text of the amendment distributed by journalists of "Interfax", foreign media performing the functions of a foreign agent may be recognized as a legal entity registered in another state, or foreign structures that distribute materials if their sources of funding are foreign states, authorities, or Russian legal entities , receiving money from foreign sources.

The amendment is called a mirror response to the coercion of the Russian news agency RT to register as a foreign agent in the United States. Sputnik  came under the same attack.

On 13 November, the Russian ANO "TV-Novosti" and its general director Mikhail Solodovnikov were registered as the US Agents Registration Act (FARA).

The FARA website published documents according to which TV-Novosti, registered in Russia, has been a customer of content from the American company T&R Productions LLC, which serves the RT America channel since July 2014.

"The vortex of the hostile are blowing over us, which did not stop us from building a new TV channel - now in French," the RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan wrote on Twitter. Commenting on the decision of the US Justice Ministry to register the channel by a foreign agent, she proposed to postpone the Press Freedom Day on 10 November.



On 15 November, Simonyan expressed her condolences to foreign journalists working in Russia, in connection with an amendment to the law on information.

"My sincere condolences to all journalists - both ours and not ours - whose chips are flying while the forest is being cut on the Capitol Hill," she wrote.

Earlier, she had to respond to the attacks of the editor-in-chief of Ekho Moskvy, Alexey Venediktov, who insisted on twittering that RT was "one employee in general". Simonyan explained that there are more than 100 people working on the TV channel, American journalists. For example, Ed Schultz, Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hagges, Governor Jess Ventura, a lawyer-legend of Maya Papantonio.

It is interesting, that the American journalistic community did not react to the news of the oppression of RT: there are other foreign publications in the US, but Washington did not enter the sword of the US Justice Ministry over them.

Now RT news stories will have to be accompanied by a dice with a signature: the material is distributed on behalf of the government of the Russian Federation. Correspondent of the TV channel Murad Gazdiev is surprised: it will be necessary to inform viewers that even the stories about the rescue of kittens by firemen were broadcasted on behalf of the RF Cabinet of Ministers.

In addition, within 48 hours the US authorities should receive copies of all published materials, including those from social media. Yes, the law obliges employees to put a notice "on behalf of the Russian Federation" in their personal profiles in social media. In addition to Twitter - by the number of marks does not pass, so that the site, apparently, will have to be abandoned.

"I'm afraid that I'm not sufficiently informed on this particular issue and can not say anything significant to your viewers," the representative of the US Press Association comments.

"The Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media has just received a letter on this matter. At present, we can not give any comment," the OSCE responded.

"As this question concerns Washington, comments from our side are out of place," the National Union of Journalists said.

Human rights defender Dan Kovalik explains the reaction by the fact that Russia and the Russian media are so blacklisted that human rights organizations "are either too afraid of doing their work, or they adhere too much to the same views as the detractors of the channel".

"This is extremely unfortunate. It does not matter if they like RT, or not. They must protect the right of channel for the presence and broadcasting in the US, the right to express their opinion, to interview anyone. At the moment, freedom of speech and free investigation in the US are subject to very serious attacks," he said.

The chief researcher at the Institute of the USA and Canada, Vladimir Vasiliev, said on Sputnik radio that the United States and Russia are returning to the Cold War.

"The Americans took a course to strangle the channel, such a soft and smooth [strangulation]. This pressure can, most likely, go to the employees of the TV channel. The fact is that, in accordance with the American laws on foreign agents, people relevant must provide the maximum possible information. The system of personal data, information about their relatives, financial affairs, and some other information ... Because these are foreign agents, this information can be almost automatically investigated by the FBI," Vasiliev said.

He did not rule out the possibility of using personal threats by the American side: to force journalists somehow to leave RT. Probably, the channel itself will be legally pursued. For example, they will complain about alleged non-payment of taxes, violation of legislation, and so on. Ultimately, this can lead to the issue of revoking a license.

"It is, as you understand, the information war. Today we are returning to the days of the Cold War, which we are well acquainted with. The only opposition here, as always was in the years of the Cold War, is essentially a symmetrical response system, which at some point creates an opportunity, well, if you like, "bargaining" or suspension", he said.

Nikita Danyuk, Deputy Director of the PFUR Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts, stressed on Sputnik air that attempts to impose restrictions on the media mean the absence of freedom of speech in the state. An alternative opinion in the US is considered information diversion.

However, foreign journalists work in Russia.

"For example, such media as Radio Liberty and Voice of America are really aimed at creating in the information space a certain point of view according to which Russia allegedly is constantly infringed upon rights and freedoms, Russia allegedly does not support democracy and so Further. In this sense, their activities are purely destructive and aimed at destabilizing the socio-political situation in the country. So it's the right thing to label certain media as foreign agents, because the content consumer, the person who comes to such resources, should immediately see that the information presented on this or that portal, site or in social media is politically biased in advance, - he said.

Earlier, experts noted that under the status of foreign agents in Russia "Radio Liberty", "Voice of America" ??and the German edition of DW, whose journalists have already spread the condemning statement of the German Chancellor Steffen Seibert, can get.

"We consider it absolutely unacceptable that, as a result of Russian-American disagreements, German and European media should face restrictions that are contrary to international obligations that we have jointly undertaken," he said.

"We are just mirroring the "courtesy" of the US regarding our media," said Alexey Martynov, director of the international institute of the Newly Established States. In his view, and BBC, and CNN, and Bloomberg will fall under the new Russian requirements.

"... will be compelled to observe them. And how much they will talk about this and that is what is called their business. It was not necessary to deal with our journalists in this way," he said.

In his conviction, in this way the US authorities demonstrate the desire to drive out from the information field saturated with internal propaganda, a "trickle of truth".

"But I believe that this" political schizophrenia" in the US will pass. It is difficult to talk about the timing, but it will pass. Because in such a regime for a long time even one of the largest countries in the world - the US - can not live, and sooner or later it will start come apart at the seams," Martynov stated.

Peter Tolstoy, vice speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, told RT reporters about the "devilization" of Russia in the United States. The wave of accusations in Russian propaganda with the help of RT and Sputnik, in his opinion, does not contribute to the normalization of relations, the situation will stall.

"But I know for sure that our colleagues in the US should understand: we will respond to any action against Russia, sometimes it is tough enough," he promised.
Elena Winter Translated by Elena Winter
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