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"All actions of American media outlets indicate that their policy and positions are totally unfriendly and that this interference is absolutely undisguised", Volodin said.

State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said lawmakers will take up changes to the Russian law on foreign agents to extend it to the media.

Volodin told Russian reporters the new measures, which would affect dozens of USA news organisations operating in Russia including CNN and Voice of America, could be adopted at first reading on Wednesday and at a third and final reading next Friday.

RT, previously known as Russia Today, disputes that it is an agent of the Kremlin, arguing that it merely offers alternatives to mainstream news coverage.

His deputy Pyotr Tolstoy called for the mobilisation of all of the country's political forces, saying it was "an emergency situation".

"Reciprocal measures will be taken to impose the same limitations that Americans are trying to impose on Russian media based on the 1938 law on foreign agents", Tolstoi said.

The 2012 Russian law now applies only to non-governmental organizations that receive foreign funding and are considered to engage in political activity.

Lawmakers said the existing law would be amended to include media groups.

Russian Federation said Thursday it could begin next week to take measures against U.S. media outlets working in Russian Federation in retaliation for a decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to make the Kremlin-funded RT news agency register as a foreign agent.

"We believe that the demand does not only go against the law, and we will prove it in court", RT's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said Thursday, according to the website. Asked by a Russian television talk show host Thursday whether "The Washington Post and the New York Times should pack their suitcases", she said "Hold on, not all at once, we'll unpack our surprise bit by bit". "There are a huge number of limitations".

On its Facebook page, the Russian embassy in the USA said it took the move to mean that the United States is pursuing a "path of conscious deterioration of relations", and that it considers the registration requirement to be "a desire to eliminate the source of alternative information, an unacceptable violation of worldwide standards of press freedom".

Russia said last month it had dropped accusations against CNN International of violating Russian media law and that the USA channel could continue broadcasting in Russia.

Simonyan also denounced the USA move in a caustic tweet. "Can you feel the smell of freedom?"

He recalled that the US Department of Justice had sent a written notification to the TV channel's top officials regarding the need to become a foreign agent by October 17.


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