Ria Global, Producer of Sputnik’s Content Registered as Foreign Agent in US
Sputnik/ Maksim BlinovUS13:02 18.02.2018(updated 13:19 18.02.2018) Get short URL
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – RIA Global LLC, the US company that produces content for the Sputnik news agency, has registered as a “foreign agent” under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) upon the demand of the US Justice Department (DOJ), according to the FARA register.
In January, the DOJ demanded that RIA Global LLC should register under FARA due to its alleged political activities on the US soil.
Sputnik as well as RT broadcaster has faced significant pressure in the United States over the past few months, with US lawmakers and intelligence community claiming that they may have been involved in Russia’s alleged attempts to influence US 2016 presidential election.
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The claims resulted in RT America registering as a foreign agent in the United States upon the DOJ request in November. Sputnik Radio’s partner Reston Translator, a company that rebroadcasts radio programs, was also forced to register as a foreign agent by the DOJ. In December, the Multicultural Radio Broadcasting Inc. (MRBI) company, broadcasting Sputnik radio programs on AM frequencies, also received a notice from the authorities about the possibility of registering as a foreign agent and was requested to provide additional information for taking a decision.
At the same time, other foreign state media outlets in the United States, such as the United Kingdom’s BBC, China’s CCTV, Germany’s Deutsche Welle and others, have not been requested to register under FARA. RT and Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said that the demand to register was discriminatory and contradictory to the principles of democracy and freedom of speech, adding that it barred RT from equal competition with foreign broadcasters that were not made to register as foreign agents by Washington.
READ MORE: Sputnik’s Partner FARA Registration ‘Purely Political’ — Editor-in-Chief
Russia responded to the US measures in late November, when country’s President Vladimir Putin signed the law allowing the Justice Ministry to designate foreign media outlets funded from abroad as foreign agents. The ministry included nine media outlets on the list of foreign agents such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among others.