Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma, said parliament could back legislation as early as next week in response to what lawmakers view as USA pressure on Russian media.
On its Facebook page, the Russian embassy in the USA said it took the move to mean that the United States is pursuing a "path of conscious deterioration of relations", and that it considers the registration requirement to be "a desire to eliminate the source of alternative information, an unacceptable violation of worldwide standards of press freedom".
State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said lawmakers will take up changes to the Russian law on foreign agents to extend it to the media.
US and any other foreign media that fall under the new restrictions could have to regularly disclose to Russian authorities full details of their funding, finances and staffing and might be obliged to say on their social media profiles and internet sites visible in Russia that they are "foreign agents".
"The American Justice Department has left us with no choice, " RT's editor in chief Margarita Simonyan said in a statement posted on the organization's website Thursday. "I don't rule out it will be done next week", she told state-owned Russian news channel Rossiya 24, according to comments reported by the Russian news outlet Tass. It's been revealed that Russian agents used U.S-based social media platforms to spread false information created to help boost Donald Trump's candidacy, and several people involved in President Trump's campaign are being investigated by the Justice Department over possible collusion with Russia.
"These are not media, but propaganda tools with 100 percent funding from the US budget", Pushkov was quoted as saying.
Amid continued controversy about Russia's role in trying to influence last year's US presidential election, Twitter last month banned advertising by RT and by the state-funded Sputnik news agency.
In the past, Russian Federation has threatened to target Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America, both of which receive USA government funding. Failure to register could result in the seizure of RT's USA bank accounts and the arrest of the senior editor, Simonyan told Russian news outlets. In the past, the ministry also has mentioned CNN, which does not receive USA government funds, but is a frequent target of criticism by the Russian government for what it says is anti-Russian bias in its reporting.
It was not clear how this label would apply to USA media and how it would potentially affect their work, or how many media outlets would be affected. Memorial, one of Russia's oldest human rights groups, which has for three decades sought to expose Soviet mass killings and arrests, and the Levada Center, an independent polling agency, were registered as foreign agents by Russia's Ministry of Justice.