Kremlin propaganda channel “RT” banned in Latvia

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The National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), in compliance with sanctions imposed by the Council of the European Union (EU), has decided to ban the distribution of seven “RT” (“Russia Today”) group channels, which are the most influential Russian propaganda channels in the West, informed NEPLP on June 30.

“RT” is a network of television channels set up by the international community in 2005, which broadcasts in English, Spanish, Arabic and other languages, distributing content consistent with the official positions of the Kremlin in its broadcasts.

“RT”, “RT HD”, “RT Arabic”, “RT Spanish”, “RT Documentary HD”, “RT Documentary”, have been banned. In broadcasts to RT, like other Kremlin propaganda channels, Latvia has been portrayed as a failed state.

Given that journalist Dmitry Kiselyov, who is in charge of RT, is subject to sanctions throughout the EU, the NEPLP will inform the media regulators of other EU countries about the decision taken and considers that a similar ban on distribution would be acceptable throughout the EU.

“We have carried out a very large inspection of the true beneficiaries and owners' bodies in all the media during the last half-year. And at this point we could solidify the evidence and be absolutely convinced that legally we would win the court. We will inform all the Member States of the European Union and their regulators of the information we have, because we believe that a similar decision should be taken throughout the European Union. In other words, “RT” or “Russia Today” channels should be banned throughout the EU,” NEPLP President Ivars Abolins said.

The adoption of this decision was largely facilitated by the new amendments to the Law on Electronic Media, announced shortly before Midsummer.

The decision will enter into force at the time it is notified and will remain in force until Kiselyov is removed from the EU sanctions list. The channels are registered in Russia and Britain.


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