At the initiative of Nathalie Loiseau and Andrus Ansip, 39 Members of the European Parliament have written to the High Representative Josep Borrell to ask for the suspension of the broadcasting of Russian channels by European satellites.
In the letter they said: “On March 2022, the Council introduced several restrictive measures in response to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. Among them, the EU took decision to suspend the broadcasting activities of Sputnik and RT/Russia Today in the EU or directed at the EU.
“Yet, and despite the sanctions, the satellite companies Eutelsat and SES have continued providing services for the broadcasting of Russian war propaganda in the European Union, in Ukraine, in Russia and beyond, including in Africa. At the same time, Eutelsat has allowed two Russian pay-TV platforms, Trikolor and NTV-Plus, to stop broadcasting some Western TV channels in the Russian Federation, so that there is now almost no access to alternative sources of news or international channels in Russia. Eutelsat thus contributes to fuelling the Russian public support to Putin’s war and prevents them from having access to independent news sources.
“While others have respected the spirit and the letter of the sanctions taken, Eutelsat has limited itself to their literal readings under the pretence of broadcasting neutrality and the lack of clear legal basis.
“Russian audio-visual media services are subject to regulations of the Russian Federation which do not guarantee pluralistic media landscape. Unfortunately, the current legal framework and Council decisions do not provide adequate legal basis to prohibit all Russian channels broadcasting in the EU. Therefore, we, as elected members of the European Parliament, call for a complete suspension of broadcasting of Russian TV channels and radio stations that spread hatred and disinformation in the context of the war in Ukraine to be included in a future package of European sanctions, which would give it unassailable legal force.
“As you stated after adopting the first sanctions, the EU “turned off the tap for Russian state- controlled media in the EU.” We must now make sure that there is no leak in the plumbing”.
Broadband TV News notes that The Denis Diderot Committee and the Coordination Stop Bloodcasting! have thanked them for this initiative, which they say is a clear result of their action, undertaken end of March.