Washington demands that RT should register as foreign agent by November 13

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen at the headquarters of the

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen at the headquarters of the"Russia Today television channel in Moscow in 2013

The status, which applies to several state-owned outlets operating in the USA including Japan's NHK and the China Daily newspaper, requires disclosure of the media organization's foreign funding.

"We believe that the demand does not only go against the law, and we will prove it in court - the demand is discriminative, it contradicts both the democracy and freedom of speech principles", Simonyan was quoted as saying by RT. "We consider its demand as a wish to eliminate an alternative source of information, which is an unacceptable violation of the global norms of free press", the statement said. It would require RT to label anything it produces - making it clear its reports are distributed on behalf of the Russian state.

"The American Justice Department has left us with no choice, " RT's editor in chief Margarita Simonyan said in a statement posted on the organization's website Thursday.

Volodin said Russian Federation could extend its own law on foreign agents to foreign media in response to Washington's "hostile" actions. "I don't rule out it will be done next week", Zakharova told the Rossiya 24 television channel in an interview, the Russian news agency Tass reported.

The U.S. action against RT was taken after U.S. intelligence agencies accused Russian Federation of trying to interfere in last year's U.S. presidential election to help President Donald Trump win the White House, something Moscow has denied. The restrictions were criticized by the US and the European Union. It's been revealed that Russian agents used U.S-based social media platforms to spread false information created to help boost Donald Trump's candidacy, and several people involved in President Trump's campaign are being investigated by the Justice Department over possible collusion with Russia. According to CBS, "failure to register could mean the arrest of the channel's American director and the freezing of its accounts".

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RT, previously known as Russia Today, disputes that it is an agent of the Kremlin, arguing that it merely offers alternatives to mainstream news coverage.

Last Thursday, Twitter announced it would drop advertising by RT and Sputnik-owned accounts on its network due to their alleged meddling in the USA presidential election previous year.

"The Russian side has repeatedly warned that any measures limiting activity of the Russian mass media in the United States will inevitably trigger an immediate symmetrical response, as provided for in the Russian legislation", the Russian Embassy in the U.S.

Russia's embassy in the USA denounced the reported Justice Department order.

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