“Under the law on mass media, if the order isn’t executed, the broadcasting license can be suspended by Roskomnadzor,” Subbotin warned. According to the official, the watchdog is currently reviewing the paperwork provided by CNN in response to the complaints. “We’ll have more precise information somewhere around October 11,” he said.
During his earlier speech at a session of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on State Sovereignty Protection, Subbotin said that he “wouldn’t like one to draw parallels between the activities of Roskomnadzor and the activities our colleagues from the US Justice Department are now conducting regarding our [Russian] media. We treat every media outlet equally, no matter of their state of origin – America, France, Germany,” he said.
In late September, CNN received a warning from Roskomnadzor over broadcasting incorrect registration data. It was ordered to eliminate the violation, which the watchdog’s head Aleksandr Zharov described as “mundane.”
Zharov also stressed that the attention toward the US channel didn’t mean that CNN’s place on air in Russia was in danger. “According to the [Russian] legislation, it’s only after two warnings that the procedure of suspending the activities of a media outlet is initiated and this is done through a court,” he said.
In recent months, increased pressure has been applied in America on Russia’s RT channel and Sputnik news agency over their claimed role in the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential campaign. On Wednesday, it was reported that Google has pulled RT from the premium YouTube advertising service Google Preferred in the US without notifying the broadcaster.
In September, the US Department of Justice sent a letter to a supply company which provides for the needs of RT America, the US-based branch of RT, demanding that it register under FARA (the Foreign Agents Registration Act).
RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan decried the move as an attempt at an outright ban of the broadcaster in the US, while the Foreign Ministry stressed that being registered under FARA may endanger RT staff working in America.
The State Sovereignty Protection Committee chairman, Andrey Klimov, stressed the need for Russia to come up with a response to the pressure on Russian media in the US.
“According to the recommendations of our commission, the relevant ministries and departments are invited to develop and, if necessary, begin to implement countermeasures against the US media [operating in Russia] within the framework of existing legislation,” he said on Thursday.
Demands for RT to register under FARA may be faced by “adequate strictly balanced measures” by Moscow, Klimov added.