Moscow to respond to pressure on Russian media abroad: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said on Monday it would respond in kind to any violations of the rights of Russian companies and media abroad, saying it had the tools to do this, the RIA news agency reported.

Russia threatened to take action against Alphabet Inc's GOOGL.O Google if articles from Russian news websites Sputnik and Russia Today were placed lower in search results, after a statement by Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt appeared to admit this.

“We have been in correspondence with Google regarding this, and Google replied to us that they had in no way implied this ranking of information,” RIA cited Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov as saying.

“It is completely clear that there is the need to react in kind to any violations of the rights of our companies as well as of our mass media,” he said. “And the Russian Federations has the tools to do this.”

Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Maria Kiselyova