The German channel considers the Russian reaction “exaggerated” and says that it will take “legal action”
Berlin sees the measure as “unacceptable” and Paris opens its own investigation into the French broadcast of the Russian channel
MADRID, 3 (EUROPE PRESS)
The Russian authorities announced this Thursday that they have banned the broadcast of the German chain Deutsche Welle in response to Berlin’s actions against the Russian state channel RT in the country, whose broadcast has also been suspended.
The Foreign Ministry has indicated in a statement that Russia has decided to proceed and take action given the “unfriendly actions of Germany in banning the broadcast in German” of the RT network, financed by the Kremlin.
Thus, it has decided “to close the correspondent office of the Deutsche Welle radio and television company” in Russian territory, which in turn implies “the cancellation of the accreditation of all its employees and the suspension of the satellite transmission of its broadcasts”, according to information from the Sputnik news agency.
Shortly before, the Kremlin had described as “attack against freedom of expression” the situation around the RT channel in Germany. The spokesman, Dimitri Peskov, has pointed out that “it is nothing more than an attack”, something that Moscow can only “regret”.
In this sense, the Russian ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Alexander Lukashevich, has asked the entity to “react” to the banning of the Russian chain in Germany.
“We call on the OSCE Representative for Freedom of the Media, Teresa Ribeiro, to respond immediately and publicly to this outrageous situation,” he stressed before noting that Berlin should be held responsible for ” create dividing lines in Europe’s information space”.
For her part, the German Minister of Culture, Claudia Roth, has described the measure as “unacceptable” and has warned that the decision “intends to be a countermeasure to that taken by German organizations” on RT.
However, Roth has indicated that the measure “has no basis since RT currently broadcasts without a license in Germany and has not even applied for it until now.” “It’s a completely different situation from Deutsche Welle, which is now having its license withdrawn,” she explained, according to DPA information.
“Therefore, I make an urgent appeal to the Russian side not to abuse the license problems of the RT channel and provoke a political reaction. In the mutual relationship, clear de-escalation steps are needed,” he defended.
Likewise, the German chain has described the Russian response as “exaggeration” and has pointed out that these are “incomprehensible” measures. In a statement, the company’s CEO, Peter Limbourg, has indicated that “they will take legal action” in this regard.
“Russia’s decision turns Deutsche Welle into a typical pawn in autocratic states,” he added, before insisting that they are “completely opposed to this absurd reaction by the Russian government.”
At the same time, he stressed that despite the fact that the correspondent office has to close, that will not “weaken the coverage” provided by the chain and he has spoken of a reinforcement of journalistic work in the region given the current situation.
On Wednesday, Germany’s media regulator banned the Russian TV channel from broadcasting on the Internet, mobile apps and television, as well as on satellite. The institution argued that RT DE allegedly did not have the necessary permits to do so.
The RT DE channel, the German version of RT, was launched on December 16, although it was blocked by YouTube on the same day. Shortly after, the German regulator opened an investigation against the channel for allegedly starting to operate without a license.
The general director of RT, Alexei Nikolov, pointed out then that the channel had obtained its broadcasting license in accordance with the law. RT’s German channel is the fourth most watched channel by Germans, according to surveys.
CONTROVERSY IN FRANCE
The French media regulator has in turn decided to open an investigation against RT in France, which has sparked controversy. According to the channel, the action has been “planned”.
The head of the Russian channel’s French-language station, Ksenia Fiodorova, has indicated that the information “has appeared the day after the channel was banned in Germany” and has stated that “it is a matter of authentic censorship” and not of an “attempt to expose any forgery”.
Fiodorova has pointed out that the chain has asked the French regulator for explanations, although for the moment they have not received a response.