Germany takes Russia's RT Deutsch off air within days of launch




 

By Miranda Murray and Alexander Marrow

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Reuters) -The new German-language broadcast of Russia's international television station RT went off the air days after its launch after German authorities ruled that it did not have the licence it needed to operate in the country.

The ban, which led to Eutelsat removing RT Deutsch from the list of channels broadcast from its satellites on Wednesday, came amid rising East-West tensions over energy supplies and Russian military activity on Ukraine's borders.

Launched in 2005, at a time when many countries including Britain, France, Gulf states and Iran were beefing up their international public broadcasting operations, the state-owned RT is regarded by most Western governments as a propaganda outlet.

"The broadcast is in German and targets the German market," the broadcast authority for the German capital Berlin, where RT has offices, said in a statement. "It did not apply for a broadcasting permit and nor was one issued."

The channel, whose live stream on Alphabet's YouTube was also removed https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/russia-demands-youtube-restore-rts-german-language-channel-2021-12-17 shortly after its launch last Thursday, can still be watched live on its own website.

RT broadcasts news that is broadly sympathetic to Russian foreign policy and often dramatises news from countries that have a difficult relationship with Moscow.

"From coronavirus to civil war?" read the headline to one opinion piece on the website on Wednesday that speculated about the possibility of mandatory vaccination in Germany.

RT says a licence it holds in Serbia gives it the right to broadcast in Germany under the terms of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/-/council-of-europe-european-convention-on-transfrontier-television-ets-no-132-translations, a Council of Europe agreement to which both countries are party.

"We consider the actions of the German regulator to be illegal and are convinced that this decision will be reviewed in court," an RT statement said.

"I don't exclude us having to react if this unacceptable situation continues," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said with respect to the ban, accusing "Western partners" of "strangling the media".

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov earlier this month said https://www.reuters.com/world/nobel-peace-laureates-receive-award-person-despite-high-covid-19-rates-2021-12-10 journalism in Russia was going "through a dark valley", with over a hundred journalists, media outlets, human rights defenders and non-governmental organisations having been branded foreign agents, a designation that can stifle access to funds.

Russian authorities say the foreign agents list is needed to safeguard the country from external influence.

Russian state media have extensive operations in Berlin, including Ruptly, a video news agency that competes in some areas with Reuters News.

(Writing by Thomas EscrittEditing by Mark Heinrich)

COMMENTS

More Related News

U.N. chief expected to disclose talks on Ukraine grain exports - U.N. officials
U.N. chief expected to disclose talks on Ukraine grain exports - U.N. officials

U.N. chief Antonio Guterres is expected to publicly disclose on Wednesday that he is in talks with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the United States and the...

A former Trump advisor on Russia recalled how Putin smelled odd and neither ate nor drank at dinner
A former Trump advisor on Russia recalled how Putin smelled odd and neither ate nor drank at dinner
  • World
  • 2022-05-18 04:51:27Z

Former Trump advisor Fiona Hill said Putin smelled "almost like he had stepped out of some special preparatory bath" when she met him.

Ukraine Latest: US Seeks to Steer India Away From Russian Arms
Ukraine Latest: US Seeks to Steer India Away From Russian Arms

(Bloomberg) -- The US is preparing a military aid package for India that aims at increasing security ties and reducing its reliance on Russian weapons...

Will the fall of Mariupol change the course of Ukraine war?
Will the fall of Mariupol change the course of Ukraine war?

Russia scores its first major win with the takeover of the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. But will it change the course of the war?

Europe Gas Prices Halt Decline as Ruble-Payment Dilemma Lingers
Europe Gas Prices Halt Decline as Ruble-Payment Dilemma Lingers

(Bloomberg) -- Natural gas prices halted two days of losses, following signals from the European Union that payment for Russian supplies in rubles would...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy