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Russian regulator promises to respond to any US restrictions of RT channel

Russia's Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies, and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) promises to find instruments for wielding impact on U.S. media and social networks if a buildup of pressure on RT channel continues, Roskomnadzor's Director Alexander Zharov told TASS on Thursday.

He declined to specify any concrete steps.

"We'll find an instrument to wield impact," Zharov said. "It's only too obvious for us RT is subjected to unprecedented pressure, most importantly, unjustified pressure."

"If you watch the actions the U.S. media and social networks are taking against the Russian channel, we just don't see any reasons for them," he went on. "If there are clear indications of restrictions on RT's absolutely legitimate operations in the U.S., we'll mull the situation over then."

Zharov recalled more than 40 U.S. channels, one news agency and two radio stations were accredited in Russia. "There's quite a big number of U.S. media here and their activities here are totally unrestricted and that's the actions against RT look particularly astonishing for us," he said.

"We feel confident that if RT really bumps into problems around its activities outside Russia, we'll tap appropriate responses to them," Zharov said.

On January 19, Facebook blocked an opportunity for RT to publish reports containing references, live broadcasts, videos, and pictures at the channel's English page. The network imposed restrictions on RT right at the moment the channel was broadcasting Barack Obama's news conference.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 19Jan17]

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