Quoting a press release obtained from then ministry, Kommersant> reports that decision was made on the basis of documents from authorised state authorities.
It also says that the Moscow bureau of DW was closed in early February, with the Foreign Ministry announcing on the previous day that DW would be banned from broadcasting in Russia and declared a foreign agent. The measures were a response to the closure of RT (Russia Today) in Germany on the grounds that it did not have a licence.
As previously reported by Broadband TV News, DW announced earlier this month that it relocating the journalistic operations previously based in Moscow to Latvia following the closure of its Moscow studio and the withdrawal of its staff’s accreditation by the Russian government.
Responding to DW being declared a foreign agent, DG Peter Limbourg said: “This latest, arbitrary decision by the Russian authorities was unfortunately to be expected. It is a further attack on press freedom and a fresh attempt to cut the Russian population off from free, independent media. It started with the forced closure of our studio in Moscow at the beginning of February, then our website in all languages was blocked in Russia. There then followed the gradual restriction of social media services and now DW has been labelled a ‘foreign agent.’ This will not stop us from continuing to provide comprehensive and independent coverage of Russia and the region from our new studio in Latvia and from Germany. We will have to put a lot more effort into censorship circumvention tools in the future. This includes VPN clients like Psiphon or the Tor browser, which we already use”.
Christian Trippe, DW director of Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe, added: “The Russian government has clearly declared an information war on DW, as it announced in early February as part of the retaliatory measures in response to the ban on RT DE. We journalists continue to do our work and provide reliable information for our target audience in Russia”.