UK revokes Russian channel RT’s licence, citing links to Kremlin


By Muvija M

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s media regulator on Friday revoked Russian-backed tv channel RT’s licence to broadcast in the United Kingdom with immediate outcome, citing its hyperlinks to the Kremlin.

The regulator, Ofcom, stated in a assertion that RT received funding from the Russian point out, which has launched am invasion of Ukraine and cracked down on impartial journalism.

Ofcom stated it was not happy that RT could be a responsible broadcaster. Its investigation took into account RT’s connection with the Russian government, it mentioned.

“It has recognised that RT is funded by the Russian condition, which has lately invaded a neighbouring sovereign state,” it claimed.

“We also observe new guidelines in Russia which proficiently criminalise any impartial journalism that departs from the Russian state’s have news narrative, particularly in relation to the invasion of Ukraine.

In light-weight of that, it was difficult for RT to comply with the impartiality principles in Britain’s broadcasting code, it reported.

The Kremlin crticised the go.

“This is a continuation of the madness which is likely on in The us and Europe – it is anti-Russian madness,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “This is however one more step that crudely limitations liberty of speech.”

Russia has slice entry to many overseas information organisations’ sites, such as the BBC, for spreading what it alleged was bogus information and facts about the war. Bloomberg News briefly suspended the perform of its journalists inside Russia, citing the new media legislation.

RT, which is at present off air in Britain owing to EU sanctions, referred to as the choice unfair.

“Ofcom has shown the United kingdom public, and the regulatory neighborhood internationally, that regardless of a effectively-manufactured facade of independence, it is nothing at all additional than a software of govt, bending to its media-suppressing will,” Anna Belkina, RT’s deputy editor in main, told Reuters.

Britain, which has accused RT of remaining a software of a Kremlin disinformation campaign in the past, experienced requested Ofcom to choose motion from RT if desired. The governing administration imposed a vacation ban and froze the belongings of RT’s editor in chief Margarita Simonyan this 7 days.

Russian officers say RT is a way for Moscow to contend with the dominance of international media corporations based in the United States and Britain that Moscow says offer a partial look at of the planet.

Individually, Ofcom now has 29 investigations into RT’s impartiality concerning protection of the war. It claimed though individuals have been ongoing, the quantity and likely critical character of the problems elevated was deeply regarding.

Facebook owner Meta and Google have barred Russian state media from finding funds for adverts on their platforms. RT’s Facebook web site was not obtainable to look at in Britain but its Twitter handle was nevertheless lively.

Ofcom fined RT 200,000 kilos in 2019 for not complying with its procedures in its coverage of Britain’s reaction to the Salisbury nerve agent assault on a former Russian spy, and the Syrian conflict.

(Reporting by Muvija M enhancing by William James and Angus MacSwan)

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