Russia is within its rights to restrict the operations of USA media organizations in Russia in retaliation for what Moscow calls US pressure on a Kremlin-backed TV station, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Sunday. "We trust we will be able to continue our work", the broadcaster's vice president and editor-in-chief, Nenad Pejic, said in a statement Monday.
"Some of our media is faced with unprecedented pressure", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. He added that the committee had requested proposals on response measures from the Prosecutor General's Office, the Foreign Ministry, the Justice Ministry, and state media watchdog Roskomnadzor - to be submitted by October 20.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson warned that Moscow was ready to restrict the activities of some American media in Russia.
"We are certain that this is a violation of freedom of speech and the press. Kavkaz.realii and Idel.realii, an official letter notifying of the forthcoming amendments to the Russian laws concerning the extension of the list of non-government organizations that could be recognized as foreign agents", the source said.
A source in the Russian government said earlier on Monday Russia's ministry of justice had sent to a number of U.S. media, including BBG- (Broadcasting Board of Governors) controlled Voice of America, Radio Liberty, internet projects Nastoyashchee Vremya, Faktopgraf, Krym.realii, Radio Liberty in the Tatar language. Russian Federation has denied any interference with the vote.
The move came after the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow may respond to the USA restrictions on the work of RT as U.S. lawmakers earlier questioned whether the Russian broadcaster should have been registered under FARA.
The U.S. Department of Justice has ordered the state-funded RT media group, a television channel which broadcasts in English and other languages, to register as a "foreign agent" under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
In an interview with Russia's NTV broadcaster, Zakharova said, "We have never used Russian law in relation to foreign correspondents as a lever of pressure, or censorship, or some kind of political influence, never".
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which is US-funded, reported it received a letter warning its activities could fall under a controversial law that forces NGOs to register as "foreign agents".