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Moscow drafts 'reciprocal measures' over United States demands on Russia Today

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Russian state-owned television station RT logo is seen at the window of the company's office in Moscow on Oct. 27 2017

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also said on Thursday Russia was considering hitting the US for the deadline.

"We believe that the demand does not only go against the law, and we will prove it in court - the demand is discriminative, it contradicts both the democracy and freedom of speech principles", Simonyan was quoted as saying by RT.

The Duma is obliged to give its laws two preliminary approvals before passing them, which Volodin said could happen next week. Such a registration would require any reporting to be labeled as being financed or influenced by the Russian government, among other restrictions.

According to the BBC, media such as CNN, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were named as possible targets for the new law. "Since such decisions are being made on USA territory in relation to our TV channels, it will be right for us to respond to these actions".

Pyotr Tolstoy, a deputy speaker of the State Duma, suggested that one possibility is that media outlets affected by the new law could be required to include a statement identifying themselves as foreign agents on their social media pages. Simonyan said that RT will comply, otherwise she could be arrested and the news outlet's accounts frozen.

RT began operations in 2005 under the brand Russia Today, claiming to present the Russian view on global news and to cover stories ignored by mainstream Western news media.

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On Thursday, Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the upper house's Commission on Information Policy and Interaction with Media, held a meeting to discuss the US move and possible retaliatory steps, a Federation Council statement said.

Charities and other civil society groups operating in Russian Federation have to register as "foreign agents" if they get any foreign funding.

"The Russian side has repeatedly warned that any measures limiting activity of the Russian mass media in the United States will inevitably trigger an immediate symmetrical response, as provided for in the Russian legislation", the Russian Embassy in the U.S.

The Russian parliament on Friday signaled that it will force some American news outlets working there to register as foreign agents.

"Blatant pressure on the Russian mass media confirms that the United States pursues the course of deliberately hurting our relations", the statement said. The decision came in the wake of investigations into Kremlin attempts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election.

"The US Department of Justice wheeled out a cannibalistic Monday deadline", she tweeted.

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