By Rebecca Shabad - 04/25/14 07:28 AM EDT
Kremlin-funded broadcast network Russia Today (RT) said Friday it's preparing a letter to the State Department, demanding an apology over Secretary John Kerry’s description of its editorial strategy.
“We are planning to write an official request to the State Department for concrete examples of when RT has distorted facts,” said network head Margarita Simonyan.
“It’s unfortunate that the head of the State Department knows so little about what’s going on in Ukraine at the moment."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, whom Kerry has worked closely with as the Ukraine-Russia crisis has unraveled, decried Kerry’s comments as “prosecutorial” and “uncivilized.”
According to a translation by RT, Lavrov accused the United States at a press conference Friday for “trying to pervert” the developments in Ukraine.
On Thursday evening, Kerry warned Russia at a previously unscheduled press conference that the window for its government to change course in Ukraine is closing.
Kerry blasted RT for being Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mouthpiece.
“The propaganda bullhorn that is the state-sponsored Russia Today program ... has deployed to promote President Putin’s fantasy about what is playing out on the ground,” he said. “They almost spend full time devoted to this effort to propagandize and to distort what is happening or not happening in Ukraine.”
At the State Department’s press briefing earlier in the day, a correspondent for RT asked spokeswoman Jen Psaki whether Lavrov’s comments a day earlier had any truth to them.
Lavrov accused the U.S. of “running the show” in Ukraine, given Vice President Biden’s visit to Kiev and the reported visit of CIA Director John Brennan.
Psaki dismissed the reporter’s question, arguing she was echoing Lavrov’s “ludicrous” claims.