The latest in a series of moves which seems destined to worsen US-Russian relations, the Justice Department has ordered Russia’s RT television news network to register itself as a “foreign agent,” forcing it to make broad disclosures on contacts within the United States.
This registration is an idea that had long been pushed by Congressional Democrats who accuse RT of being a “propaganda” network. The Foreign Agent Registration Act was meant to target foreign lobbyists and politicians.
It’s virtually unheard of to force a journalistic outlet to register, and the move was quickly condemned by RT as “overreaching.” That the Justice Department made such a move at all is a surprise, and indicative of continued hostility toward Russia.
The big question then is, with diplomats in both the US and Russia looking to stop the worsening tensions, what fallout this will lead to. America’s own Voice of America outlet is structured identically to RT, and it would not be surprising at all to see Russia retaliate against them over the Justice Department’s move on RT.