Russian news outlet RIA Global LLC registers as foreign agent

Vastavam web: U.S.-based Russian news outlet RIA Global LLC has registered as a foreign agent with the U.S. Justice Department, the fourth Russian-linked media company to do so since November under pressure from the U.S. government.RIA Global, which produces content for Russian state-owned news outlet Sputnik, registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) on Friday, according to filings on the Justice Department’s website.

FARA, an 80-year old law aimed at making the public aware of the source of foreign propoganda, has taken on new importance in recent months amid probes by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and multiple congressional committees into Russian attempts to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election.RIA Global said in its registration that it retains “independent editorial control” over the shows, newswires and web articles it produces and that it “respectfully disagrees that FARA should apply.”

The registration revealed an intention to promote to some extent the Kremlin’s view. A contract accompanying RIA’s registration includes a provision that essays focused on or involving Russia “must reflect Russia’s stance on the subject and present opinions of Russian experts.”Reston Translator LLC, a Virgina-based radio broadcaster of Sputnik programming, registered as a foreign agent in November, as did T&R Productions, LLC (T&R), a Washington, D.C.-based firm that produces English-language programming for the RT Network, a TV broadcaster funded by the Russian government.A January 2017 U.S. intelligence report concluded that Russia conducted an influence campaign of hacking and other measures aimed at swinging the 2016 presidential vote to Donald Trump. The report said Sputnik and RT are part of “Russia’s state-run propaganda machine” that contributed to that campaign.