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Four more Russian media outlets banned from broadcasting in the EU

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The Council of the European Union has decided to suspend the broadcasting activities in the European Union of four additional media outlets, accusing them of spreading propaganda and supporting the war against Ukraine. They are Voice of Europe, RIA Novosti, Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta, writes Political Editor Nick Powell.

The Council categorises these media outlets as being under the permanent direct or indirect control of the leadership of the Russian Federation. It describes them as “essential and instrumental in bringing forward and supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, and for the destabilisation of its neighbouring countries”.

In line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the measures will not prevent the targeted media outlets and their staff from news gathering, through research and interviews, or from carrying out other activities in the EU apart from broadcasting. The Council cites Russia’s “systematic international campaign of media and information manipulation, interference and grave distortion of facts in order to justify and support its full-scale aggression against Ukraine, and to enhance its strategy of destabilisation of its neighbouring countries, and of the EU and its member states.

“In particular, the propaganda, information manipulation and interference activities have repeatedly and consistently targeted the Ukrainian state and its authorities, Ukrainian citizens, as well as the European political parties, especially during election periods, as well as targeting civil society, asylum seekers, Russian ethnic minorities, gender minorities, and the functioning of democratic institutions in the EU and its member states”.

In its conclusions of 21 and 22 March 2024, the European Council reaffirmed the EU’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and its legitimate right of self-defence against the Russian aggression. It also called for further steps to weaken Russia’s ability to continue waging its war of aggression, including by strengthening sanctions.

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