Putin promises reciprocal action if US targets Russian media
The Russian president has made a statement on the issues regarding the Washington-Moscow ties after a brief meeting with his US counterpart during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that is currently underway in Vietnam, Sputnik reports.
Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow will respond in a reciprocal manner to the actions of the US regarding Russian media outlets, including Sputnik News Agency and the broadcaster RT. He added that US authorities chose the way of the "actual closure of Russian" media outlets in the US.
"It would be funny if it wasn't so sad, as Russian people say," Putin noted, saying that the US had long promoted itself as a champion of democratic values in the world. "There's no democracy without freedom of speech. The attack on our media in the US is an attack on the freedom of speech, clearly."
Putin has stressed there was a lack of proof that Russian media meddled in the US 2016 presidential election campaign, adding "there cannot be such proof."
"[Russian media have put] around $100,000 in advertising, while other media, the US media, have been allocating millions for the ads. This is just incommensurable. And [Russian advertising] has been considered as dangerous, and is being interpreted as some meddling."