Russian Federation says it plans to retaliate against United States owned media in Moscow

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Russian lawmakers say they are planning a quick approval of legal amendments that would allow a quid pro quo response to a US demand to the Russian government-funded broadcaster RT to register as a foreign agent.

She said the demands contradicted both democracy and freedom of speech.

The Duma is obliged to give its laws two preliminary approvals before passing them, which Volodin said could happen next week.

Russian Federation in 2012 passed a controversial law that requires foreign funded non-governmental organizations to register as foreign agents.

Zakharova did not specify which outlets would be targeted or what the actions would be. "Since such decisions are being made on USA territory in relation to our TV channels, it will be right for us to respond to these actions".

Deputy speaker Sergei Neverov said the amendments would also refer to social networks. "Our lawyers say that if we don't register as a foreign agent, the director of our company in America could be arrested, and the accounts of the company could be seized".

Washington, which considers RT a propaganda arm for the Kremlin, in September told it to register its American operation under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which is aimed at lobbyists and lawyers representing foreign political interests.

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.

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

Nikolov noted that foreign agent status implies a wide range of measures by the U.S. authorities, but no one knows what exactly can follow after this status is acquired.

"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", the Russian embassy posted. "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". 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. Groups on the list are subject to tight scrutiny by officials and must place the words "foreign agent" on all their publications, a label that recalls Soviet-era denunciations of spies and fifth-columnists.