The Russian Embassy in France condemned the blocking of the bank accounts of the French channel RT, noting that this is a gross violation of the principles of freedom of the media and goes beyond the EU sanctions against Russia.
The embassy noted that even before the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, France pursued a “policy of restricting freedom of speech and discrimination” against the French channel RT, which was considered unacceptable in Russia.
The embassy said in a statement that the latest move, “blocking the channel’s accounts”, which effectively puts an end to the continuation of its work in France, is a flagrant violation of not only basic democratic principles, but also international norms and rules related to freedom of the media, but also goes beyond the restrictive measures imposed by the European Union on Russian media, which do not apply to RT France.
Earlier, the head of RT France, Ksenia Fedorova, said that the accounts of the editorial office were blocked in France, and the bank said that they had done this by order of the authorities in connection with the ninth package of sanctions against Russia adopted in December. .
According to her, although RT France does not appear on the sanctions list and has the right to work in France, such a decision paralyzes the work of the media.
In March, after the start of a special operation in Ukraine, the European Commission imposed a ban on the broadcasting of the French channel RT and Radio Sputnik France, and shortly after that, the French media regulator Arcom announced the immediate suspension of broadcasting of these media. in France.
The head of the European Union of Journalists, Ricardo Gutierrez, said the ban on Russian media in the EU, including RT and Sputnik, “has set a dangerous precedent and a threat to press freedom.”
In early December, the French Council of State ordered media regulator Arcom to reconsider its decision to continue broadcasting the Russian TV channels Rossiya-1 and NTV, as well as Channel One in Russia and Ukraine, by the French satellite operator Eutelsat. “Reporters Without Borders”.
The situation with Russian media in the West has become more complicated in recent years, and in November 2016 the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the need to counter the Russian media, naming Sputnik and RT as the main threats in the document.
A number of Western politicians, including members of the US Senate and Congress, as well as the President of France, accused Sputnik RT of interfering in the US and French elections, but did not provide any evidence, and Russian officials called such claims unfounded.
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