The owner of a Washington, D.C., area radio station that broadcasts Sputnik International 24/7 has been ordered to register his Florida-based broadcasting company as a Russian federal agent.
WTOP-FM reports Judge Robin Rosenburg ruled Tuesday that RM Broadcasting must register with the U.S. government. RM and a Russian government-owned news agency agreed in 2017 that the station would broadcast the agency's communications continuously without edit until 2021.
Federal agents told RM in 2018 that the station was acting as a "publicity agent" for the Russian agency. It said RM would need to register as a foreign principal under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, originally adopted to fight Nazi propaganda. RM asked the court to rule on the matter, arguing that it only buys and resells airtime.