MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 23rd January, 2021) The United States might take it out on RT and Sputnik as a tit-for-tat measure after Russia's communications watchdog found Congress-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) noncompliant with labeling requirements, The New York Times reported on Friday, citing ex-RFE/RL head Jamie Fly.
"The Kremlin appears to be exploiting the chaos at U.S. international broadcasting. It may just be a tactical move to create issues to barter with a new administration, but this is going to be an administration much more skeptical of cooperation with the Kremlin than the previous one," Fly was quoted as saying.
The so-called chaos mentioned refers to the turmoil at the US Agency for Global Media resulting from ex-President Donald Trump's alleged pursuit to put allies in senior positions at the agency rather than care about the protection of journalists.
RFE/RL in Russia was slapped with sizable fines recently for not complying with the law on "foreign agents," a status the US broadcaster was designated as in 2017 in retaliation for the United States' designation of RT. However, RFE/RL editor-in-chief Daisy Sindelar is convinced that the fines point to that the Russian government "seeks, in no uncertain terms, our withdrawal from Russia," as quoted in the report.
"The Russians should be concerned about implications for RT and Sputnik's operations in the United States if they continue down this path," Fly was quoted as saying.
RFE/RL was fined for refusing to label their content disseminated in Russia and the Russian segment of the internet as produced by a "foreign agent." This is similar to Twitter's designation of posts by some state-funded news agencies.