The Ukrainian regulator National Council has called directly on the management of Eutelsat to stop the rebroadcasting of Russian TV channels.
In a letter delivered personally to Eutelsat’s CEO Eva Berneke today (November 24) by a representative of the Embassy of Ukraine in France at the 52nd meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Assembly of Parties – the decision-making body of the Intergovernmental organisation Eutelsat – in Paris, the regulator “once again draws the attention of the European company to the danger posed by the Russian media. By distorting reality for decades, they raised a whole generation of citizens imbued with ideas of hatred for European values and a belief in their own civilizational role in preserving and renewing the values of Soviet ideology”.
The letter goes on to say: “During the war launched by Russia against Ukraine, the propagandist Russian mass media resort to incitement to genocide against the Ukrainian people. Direct and public incitement to the commission of genocide, according to Article III of the Convention on the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide, is a separate crime, regardless of whether it is directly related to genocide or not. France, as a signatory country of this Convention, is obliged to take measures to prevent genocide and to punish its commission.
“The war started by Russia is not only a war of armies, but above all, a war for people’s consciousness. The continued spread of propaganda, aggressive and hateful appeals against the Ukrainian people, in particular in Eutelsat packages, which are intended for entertainment or even education, undermines security on the European continent and incites violence and hatred. In such an environment, the propaganda of war and the destruction of other nations and states is perceived as common and acceptable information.
“The official monitoring of the National Council recorded that the French operator Eutelsat S.A. hosts the Russian satellite television platforms “NTV+” and “Tricolor”. Their program service includes Russian TV channels, which have been subject to sanctions by the European Union and certain countries, as well as orders from the French regulator Arcom to stop broadcasting. These are, in particular, the TV channels “Russia Today”, “Pervyi Kanal”, “Russia 1”, “TVC” (TV Center International), “NTV”.
“All these channels are directly or indirectly owned and controlled by the Russian government and receive advertising revenue from distribution in European countries. They systematically express support for the aggressive actions of the Russian government in Ukraine, promote war, enmity, incite the genocide of the Ukrainian people, and express threats against other European countries. Sanctions in the form of rebroadcast restrictions on them, the National Council is convinced, are a justified and necessary measure to stop the escalation of the war. Broadcasting of Russian channels should be limited”.
It concludes by saying that “in the event that Eutelsat S.A. will not stop providing retransmission services of NTV+ and Tricolor packages, the National Council will initiate the procedure of imposing sanctions on the company, as well as initiate the blocking of any of its activities on the territory of Ukraine, and in the future – on the European continent”.
The letter also reminds Eutelsat that a few days ago 39 members of the European Parliament appealed to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, with a request to suspend the broadcasting of Russian channels by European satellites.