The Justice Ministry has warned three U.S.-funded news outlets based in Moscow that their activity may be defined as that of a “foreign agent” and restricted accordingly.
Russian authorities have been threatening retaliation for what they view as restrictions on the Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik International in the United States under the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Current Time TV, a 24-hour news network produced by the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America reported that it had received a letter from the Russian Justice Ministry.
Russian media law allows for restrictions on mass media correspondents from those countries which in turn have placed “special limits” on journalists of Russian media outlets, according to the letter.
Similar missives were received by idelreal.org and svoboda.org, Russian-language sites operated by RFE/RL.
Nenad Pajic, vice president and editor-in-chief of RFE/RL, told Current Time that the U.S. sites were “journalistic organizations.”
“I hope we can continue our work,” he said.
On Oct. 8, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that if pressure on RT continued in the United States, American outlets in Russia could expect retaliation.