Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Friday that it was calling a meeting with U.S. media outlet leaders in Moscow to inform them of the coming response to U.S. restrictions on Russian media, Reuters reports.
"If the work of the Russian media — operators and journalists — is not normalized in the United States, the most stringent measures will inevitably follow," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
"To this end, on Monday, June 6, the heads of the Moscow offices of all American media will be invited to the press center of the Russian Foreign Ministry to explain to them the consequences of their government's hostile line in the media sphere," she continued. "We look forward to it."
Claiming Western countries have imposed unfair restrictions on its media abroad, Russian lawmakers passed a bill last month giving prosecutors the authority to close foreign media desks in Moscow if a Western country has been "unfriendly" to state media, Reuters reports.
According to the Washington Examiner, the European Union and the United Kingdom have taken legal action to limit access to Russian state-operated news outlet RT since the beginning of the invasion.
The Canadian outlet CBC's Moscow bureau was shut down following the bill’s passage, according to the Examiner.
Since launching its attack on Ukraine in February, Russia has clamped down on media coverage and has established 15-year prison sentences for journalists intentionally spreading "fake" news about its so-called "special military operation."
Eastern Russian officials secured their first conviction under this law on Monday against someone who posted videos to a social media page, the Examiner reports.
Reuters reports that the new law has caused some Western media outlets to pull out of the country.
The stated goals of Russia’s "special military operation" are to disarm and "denazify" neighboring Ukraine. Ukraine and its allies have said it is merely a pretext for a war that has killed thousands, forced more than 6 million to flee, and destroyed infrastructure.
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