Moscow ‘outraged’ by crackdown on Russian media abroad — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union
France appears to be spearheading efforts to silence dissent in Europe, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says
France’s pressure to ban Russian media both domestically and in the EU is unacceptable, Moscow Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday. Earlier this month, French television regulator Arcom ordered satellite operator Eutelsat to stop broadcasting the Channel One Russia, Rossiya 1 and NTV channels.
In a statement, Zakharova said the French watchdog had imposed these restrictions « under apparent pressure from the authorities », adding that this decision preceded the relevant sanctions at EU level. « Moscow is outraged by the new measures taken by Paris aimed at introducing more and more broadcast bans on Russian media, both on its territory and throughout the EU », she stated.
Such actions suggest that France, given its political weight in the bloc, « is the main lobbyist » supporting a ban on Russian TV channels in Europe, Zakharova said. “Such a display of Russophobia, which, unfortunately, has already become commonplace, [points to] the aspiration to silence all voices that offer an alternative to EU propaganda at all costs.
According to Zakharova, Europeans « are deprived of the right to free access to information. » She suggested that Paris and Brussels could be « fear that the public, after seeing a different point of view and a picture of the world that does not match that shown by mainstream Western media, will draw their own conclusions » on world politics and the conflict in Ukraine.
The spokeswoman described the Russian media crackdown as « a flagrant violation » freedom of expression, which is « of a discriminatory nature ». The ban is « further testimony that the ideal Western model of democratization is in fact nothing more than a tool to achieve foreign policy goals », Zakharova affirmed.
In recent years, Western countries have launched a massive campaign against Russian media, which only intensified after Moscow began its military operation against Ukraine. In March, the EU suspended the broadcasting activities of Sputnik and RT, while the number of blacklisted channels has only increased since then as the bloc introduced new sanctions packages.