Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday warned several US media outlets of retaliatory measures in response to restrictions on Russian media in the United States.
A journalist with knowledge of the meeting held by spokesperson Maria Zakharova with US journalists said that Zakharova made clear “if the US government doesn’t change its attitude toward Russian journalists working in the United States, Russia will carry out similar action against us.”
“During the meeting, Zakharova (said that) accreditation and, by extension, visas would be extended for only three months, and if the U.S. doesn’t improve its current treatment of Russian journalists, they would ban us from working in Russia,” the journalist added.
The warning came after the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions last month on three Russian state-owned media for “acting directly or indirectly on behalf of the Kremlin.”
The journalist also said that Zakharova cited difficulties for US-based Russian journalists, including harassment by US intelligence agencies, visa renewals, and blocked bank accounts.
In a press briefing on Monday, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price clarified that the US continues to issue visas to qualified Russian journalists and “has not revoked the Foreign Press Center credentials of any Russian journalists working in the United States.”
Price also said that the Russian government has “fundamentally and willfully” disregarded the free press and has threatened “professional journalists for simply trying to do their jobs and seeking to seal off Russia’s population from any foreign information illustrates the flimsiness and the fragility of the Russian Government’s narrative,” Price said.
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