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Russia today warned American news organizations that they risk being deprived of their accreditation if the attitude towards Russian journalists in the United States does not improve, sources familiar with the matter said, BTA reported, quoting Reuters.

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine 5843

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, some Russian state media outlets have been prevented from working in the United States and other Western countries by revoking their broadcasting licenses and imposing sanctions, steps Moscow says show disrespect for media freedom.

In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law requiring up to 15 years in prison for deliberately spreading false news about the Russian military, prompting some Western media outlets to withdraw their journalists from the country.

A Moscow court has imposed a fine of 20 million rubles (325,214 euros) on the US-backed Free Europe radio station for "fake" content in connection with Russia's military operation in Ukraine, Interfax reported today.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced last week that she would contact US media executives to inform them of the imposition of "toughest measures" in response to the "hostility" facing their Russian counterparts in the United States. .

At a meeting today, Zakharova outlined the difficulties Russian journalists face in the United States

, including visa renewals, blocked bank accounts and alleged harassment by US intelligence, three sources said.

The spokeswoman warned the media that if Russian journalists could not work freely in the United States, their reporters in Russia risked similar difficulties with visas, media accreditations and bank accounts.

 She told US media that if things do not change, US journalists will have to leave the country.

The spokeswoman added that Russia did not want this to happen, but was forced to because of the difficult situation in which Russian journalists find themselves.

Zakharova did not respond to a written request for comment on the meeting or a warning to US media organizations. 

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is getting used to the heads of US news agencies in Moscow to explain to them what consequences await them

Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti reported that the meeting was attended by representatives of the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the Associated Press, NRR and Alhura TV.

Spokesmen for US media outlets such as the Associated Press, CNN, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal did not respond to a request for comment.

Washington has imposed sanctions on some Russian state television stations, which it claims have spread false information in support of Russia's war in Ukraine.

Russian authorities do not use the words "invasion" and "war".

Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, say Western media have portrayed "extremely biased" Russia's "special operation" (as Moscow defines Russia's actions in Ukraine),

ignoring Russia's fears of NATO enlargement. and the alleged persecution of Russian-speaking citizens.

While some Western media outlets have left Russia, others, including Reuters, have remained in the country and continue to cover.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine

Maria Zakharova

media in the United States