BRUSSELS: The ban on the broadcasting in the European Union of Russian media RT and Sputnik, considered instruments of “disinformation” by Moscow in its war against Ukraine, came into force on Wednesday, and each member state is now responsible for to enforce it.
Content from Sputnik and RT (ex-Russia Today) channels in English, German, French and Spanish can no longer be broadcast on television networks and the internet, according to this decision published at midday in the Official Journal of the EU.
RT and Sputnik are the “channels” of Russia’s “propaganda actions” and “distortion of the facts”, which “directly and seriously threaten the public order and security of the Union”, write the Twenty-seven.
“These media play an essential and decisive role in advancing and supporting the aggression against Ukraine and in destabilizing neighboring countries”, judge the Twenty-Seven.
These interdiction measures “should be maintained until the aggression against Ukraine comes to an end and until the Russian Federation and its associated media cease carrying out propaganda actions against the Union and its Member States “.
Each Member State, via its media regulatory authority and its telecom operators, is responsible for enforcing this ban. However, it should be appealed to the courts.
“We are relying on solid legal bases (…) and we will defend our decision before the courts” European, assured Tuesday a European source while admitting that reprisals against European media in Russia were “a possibility”.
The principle of the ban was announced on Sunday by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Even before its official entry into force, internet giants had taken the lead: Facebook and Instagram (Meta group) announced on Monday that they were blocking content published by RT and Sputnik in EU countries, followed on Tuesday by YouTube.
On Tuesday, the Russian media regulator, Roskomnadzor, protested against these measures, considering that they “violate the fundamental principles of the free flow of information and its unhindered access”.
If the eviction of RT and Sputnik from certain social networks is already effective, it is not the same for the ban on television broadcasting of RT.
On Wednesday shortly before 2:00 p.m., about an hour after the ban was formalized by the EU, RT France was thus still visible on television.
The French situation is specific, because France is the only EU Member State to host a subsidiary of RT on its soil (its headquarters are in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris) and to have granted it a broadcasting license.
The scenario is different for the other Member States: the English or Spanish RT channels which are broadcast there are based in Moscow and therefore subject to the Russian regulator with regard to their content.
In Germany, RT in German was suspended at the end of 2021: this channel relied on a Serbian license for its broadcast, which the German media regulator disputed.
According to the text published in the Official Journal of the EU, “any license or authorization to broadcast and any transmission and distribution agreement” concluded with RT and Sputnik are suspended.
This concerns all means of distribution, whether “cable, satellite, IPTV, internet service providers, new or existing platforms or applications for sharing videos on the internet”.
The text specifies that “these measures shall not prevent these media and their staff from carrying out activities in the Union other than broadcasting, such as investigations and interviews”.
Tuesday, during a general assembly attended by a hundred employees, Xenia Fedorova, the president of RT France, affirmed that the channel would continue to work until it could no longer do so, entrusted an elected official. of the SNJ union.
We want to thank the author of this article for this outstanding material
The Oscars will pre-record some awards to boost the televised ceremony