Russia Summons Heads of US Media Outlets, Warns of 'Stringent Measures'

Russia Summons Heads of US Media Outlets, Warns of 'Stringent Measures'
A general view of the headquarters of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow, Russia, on April 29, 2022. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

Russia's Foreign Ministry said it was summoning the heads of U.S. media outlets in Moscow to a meeting next Monday to notify them of tough measures in response to U.S. restrictions against Russian media.

"If the work of the Russian media—operators and journalists—is not normalized in the United States, the most stringent measures will inevitably follow," ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

"To this end, on Monday, June 6, the heads of the Moscow offices of all American media will be invited to the press centre of the Russian Foreign Ministry to explain to them the consequences of their government's hostile line in the media sphere," she added. "We look forward to it."

Russia has accused Western countries of imposing unfair restrictions on its media abroad, including bans on some state-backed news outlets. Lawmakers passed a bill last month giving prosecutors powers to shut foreign media bureaus in Moscow if a Western country has been "unfriendly" to Russian media.

Washington has imposed sanctions against some state-run Russian TV stations, which it says have spread disinformation to bolster Russia's war in Ukraine.

Asked about the summoning of U.S. media outlets in Moscow, a spokesperson for the State Department said the United States supports access to media and the internet for Russians, who are being subjected to censorship by their own government.