Five Russian TV channels allowed back in Latvia, then banned again

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The Administrative Regional Court decided to partially suspend the ban by the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) on the distribution of Russian TV channels in the territory of Latvia and allow the broadcast of five entertainment channels, LETA reported June 16.

The TV channels “THT-Comedy”, “THT4 International”, “FRIDAY International”, “KHL TV channel” and “TNT Music” will thus return to the Latvian media space. The decision cannot be appealed and takes effect immediately, said the court.

According to NEPLP head Ivars Āboliņš the reasoning of the court was absurd since this could mean that when the original judgment came into force, Russian TV channels could operate in the same way as Latvian TV channels and apply for state funding. He said the NEPLP would make further decisions on the matter.

The agency LETA found that the NEPLP decision was challenged in court by a transmitter of these channels, Global Media.

On June 17 morning, the NEPLP decided to ban those channels again, NEPLP head Ivars Āboliņš said on Twitter.


He said that the decision was based on the fact that channels registered in a country threatening the territorial integrity and independence of another country could not be operated in Latvia. Such regulation was adopted by the Saeima at the beginning of June.

“Latvia does not have to participate in financing Ukraine's war. The channels will be able to return to Latvia when Russia brings troops out of Ukraine, and frees occupied territories, including Crimea,” said Āboliņš.


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