MOSCOW (Sputnik) – RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan has commented on the calls of a Canadian lawmaker to ensure more transparency of the broadcaster’s agreements with the country’s television service providers.
“Canada has heard about the allegations of the US intelligence against RT. They have not understood it properly, but they obviously do not want to fall behind their big brother,” Simonyan said.
Erin O’Toole, a Canadian parliamentarian from the Conservative Party, in an interview with The Globe and Mail newspaper, published on Wednesday, called on his country’s authorities to ensure transparency of RT’s agreements with Canadian television service providers about including the broadcaster’s programs in their service packages. O’Toole insisted that it was necessary to discuss monitoring RT’s content in order to increase control in terms of security.
The calls of the Canadian parliamentarian have not been the only proposals to counter RT’s influence voiced in Western legislatures. In one of the most recent cases on Wednesday, a proposal to launch the Europe Today TV channel to counteract what EU lawmakers deemed Russian propaganda was discussed in the European Parliament.
Simonyan said in a December interview with the US NBC broadcaster that RT’s key goal was to inform audiences in the West.
Russian media, particularly RT and Sputnik news agency, have been accused by the US intelligence community of allegedly spreading misinformation during the 2016 US presidential election campaign to influence the results of the vote, a claim repeatedly denied by the outlets.
The claims resulted in the US branch of the Russian RT broadcaster being forced to register as a “foreign agent” in the United States under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) upon the request of the Department of Justice. Other foreign state media outlets in the United States, such as the United Kingdom’s BBC, China’s CCTV, Germany’s Deutsche Welle and others, have not been asked to do the same. Simonyan has said the broadcaster had to choose between registering or being charged in a criminal case by the US government.
Several other media, particularly the US-based RIA Global LLC, cooperating with Sputnik News Agency and Sputnik Radio in the United States, were also ordered by the US authorities to register under FARA.