Russia warns US media they may lose accreditation

Russia has warned US news organizations that they risk being stripped of their accreditation, unless the treatment of Russian journalists in the United States improves.

The Russian foreign ministry called in representatives of US media outlets based in Moscow on Monday.

The ministry notified them of the Russian government's response to what it called the "hostility" by Washington against Russian media in the US.

Sources who attended the meeting said that spokesperson Maria Zakharova outlined difficulties that Russian journalists in the US are facing in obtaining visas, media accreditation, or bank accounts.

She reportedly warned that US reporters in Russia risked facing similar difficulties, and that unless things changed, then US journalists would have to leave Russia.

The sources said that the meeting was attended by 11 representatives of US media companies including ABC News, CNN, FOX, and AP.

There were no questions from them and the meeting ended in about half an hour.

The warning comes after the administration of President Vladimir Putin closed the Moscow bureau of Canada's national public broadcaster in May, in response to a ban by Canada on Russian state-owned TV channels.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price criticized the Russian move, saying that the Kremlin is engaged in a "full assault" on media freedom.

He also said that the US "continues to issue visas to qualified Russian journalists and it has not revoked foreign press credentials of any Russian journalists working in the United States."