EU Bans Broadcasting of Four Russian Media Outlets

Fri May 17 2024
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BRUSSELS: The European Union on Friday imposed broadcasting bans on four media outlets controlled by Russia, including an outlet central to an investigation into suspected interference in the European Parliament.

The sanctioned organizations include the Voice of Europe website, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, and newspapers Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

The formal announcement of these sanctions follows a unanimous decision by ambassadors from the EU’s 27-member states earlier this week, despite warnings of potential retaliation from Moscow against Western journalists operating in Russia.

In a statement, the EU cited the permanent direct or indirect control of these media outlets by the leadership of the Russian Federation. It accused them of playing a pivotal role in supporting Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and destabilizing neighboring countries.

The EU further condemned Russia’s systematic campaign of media manipulation, interference, and distortion of facts on the international stage.

These additions bring the total number of Russia-linked media organizations subject to broadcast bans in the EU to 17 since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The bans extend to all forms of transmission and distribution within or directed at EU member states, though they do not prevent journalists from these outlets from working within the bloc.

The EU’s latest measures reflect its commitment to addressing foreign interference, particularly in light of upcoming elections across the bloc next month. Recent incidents, including Czech intelligence uncovering a Moscow-financed network using the Prague-based Voice of Europe outlet for spreading Russian propaganda, and Belgian authorities investigating allegations of payments to European lawmakers to disseminate Moscow’s narratives, underscore the urgency of such actions.

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