USA government-sponsored Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) said last month Moscow had threatened to brand their Russian language service projects "foreign agents" in retaliation for US pressure on RT.
Simonyan said on RT's Russian-language website that "between such consequences and registration as a foreign agent, we are forced to choose registration".
She said RT would challenge the demand by the US Department of Justice in court.
Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the lower house of Russia's parliament, the State Duma, charged deputies with updating existing legislation after state-controlled Russia Today (RT) television was ordered by Washington to register as a "foreign agent" by Monday.
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Russian influence in the USA has come under increasing scrutiny in the months following the 2016 presidential elections.
Russian Federation is poised to list US media outlets as "foreign agents" by extending legislation used to restrict the activities of civil society groups, in retaliation for an American order requiring state broadcaster RT to register for a similar status.
She said the demands contradicted both democracy and freedom of speech. "Since such decisions are being made on USA territory in relation to our TV channels, it will be right for us to respond to these actions".
"Every media now has its own pages in social networks, which also publish their news, articles and videos". "Our lawyers say that if we don't register as a foreign agent, the director of our company in America could be arrested, and the accounts of the company could be seized".
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RT, previously known as Russia Today, disputes that it is an agent of the Kremlin, arguing that it merely offers alternatives to mainstream news coverage.
"The Russian side has repeatedly warned that any measures limiting activity of the Russian mass media in the United States will inevitably trigger an immediate symmetrical response", the Russian embassy posted.
Russian news media reported in October that the upper house of the Russian parliament had drawn up a blacklist of at least five USA media outlets whose activities in Russia could be restricted in response. He stressed that foreign agent status could be very risky for RT staff and all those who interact with this TV channel.
RT has become a focus of the USA investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. "We consider its demand as a wish to eliminate an alternative source of information, which is an unacceptable violation of the global norms of free press".
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