Russia warns US-funded media outlets of possible limits

MOSCOW (AP) — U.S. government-funded broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said Monday that Russia has warned of possible restrictions on some of its operations.

The broadcaster said that the Russian Justice Ministry warned its Russian service, known as Radio Svoboda, the Russian-language Current Time television and Idel Realii, a Russian-language website run by the broadcaster’s Tatar-Bashkir service, that their operations fall under a Russian law on foreign agents and could be restricted.

The move follows the Kremlin’s warning that Moscow could respond if Washington restricts the operations of Russian state-funded RT television network and Sputnik news agency in the U.S.

The U.S. intelligence agencies allege that RT and Sputnik served as tools for the Kremlin to meddle in the U.S. presidential election. Russia has denied any interference with the vote.

RT said it faces a U.S. demand to register as a foreign agent and provide detailed personal data for its staff, a request it said amounts to an attempt to push it out of the U.S.

Current Time Director Daisy Sindelar said that “we have no concrete information about any moves being taken against RT in the United States, and have no reason to expect reciprocal action.”

Current Time is run by Prague-based RFE/RL with help from Washington-based Voice of America.

“Current Time, Radio Svoboda, and Idel Realii are journalistic organizations. We trust we will be able to continue our work,” RFE/RL Vice President and Editor in Chief Nenad Pejic said in a statement.


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