Embassy Statement

October 24, 2017

The Russian side has repeatedly stated that making Russian media in the United States change their status to foreign agent could significantly complicate their work and create problems for journalistic teams.
Moscow has already announced the inevitability of a mirror response to the possible actions of the US authorities in relation to Russian media in the United States. Based on the relevant provisions of Russian Media Law (1991), similar measures will be applied to the American media in Russia. But this is not by our choice.
Despite this, Washington continues, as it was at the briefing by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, the attempts to present the case as if the Russian media in the United States, in particular the RT channel, are not subjected to any pressure, unlike the American press in Russia. By the way, the American mainstream is not lagging behind, launching a smear campaign against the RT.
Indeed, there is a legal norm amounting to the US FARA in Russia. We have taken into consideration the experience of the leading Western countries, while developing it. The main difference of the Russian law from the US one is that it is universal. Experience has proven that the US law is enforced only in a selective and politically motivated manner. It could be proven by the absence in the US list of foreign agents the largest media outlets funded by Western states.
Regarding the registration procedure of a foreign agent in the US, its consequences are not as formal and painless as follows from Ms. Nauert’s words. We would like to recommend her to study the assesment of the current situation, made by President Vladimir Putin - at the Valdai Forum last week.
In general, the example of what is happening with the Russian press in the US shows that the words and deeds of the US authorities regarding media freedom are divergent. In the anti-Russian heat of the moment in Washington, they completely forgot about the principles enshrined in the domestic legislation and international legal documents, they are so fond to remind other countries about.
We call not to create yet another irritant in bilateral relations and to allow the media to work in a normal way.