The French regulator Arcom must require Eutelsat to strictly comply with EU sanctions, according to the Denis Diderot Committee.
The Committee, a network of academics and media professionals, was responding to Arcom’s decision giving Eutelsat formal notice to stop broadcasting the three main Russian channels Rossiya 1, Pervyi Kanal and NTV. Eutelsat broadcasts for the platforms Trikolor and NTVplus 330 channels to Russia, the occupied territories of Ukraine and the Baltic States. The decision follows the referral to Arcom by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), on the basis of a report file drawn up by the Denis Diderot Committee. A decision of the Council of State signified to Arcom that it had jurisdiction over this file, which it had denied for several months.
The Committee notes that while this is a first victory, there is still a lot to be done: as remembered by the VP of the European Commission, Mrs Vera Jourova, in charge of media policy, according to the European Commission guidelines published in June, the European Union decisions on the banning of the broadcasts of Russia Today, Rossiya 24, RTR-Planeta, TV Centr also apply to broadcasting to third countries, therefore to Russia. Eutelsat still broadcasts these channels. Similarly, the Luxembourg company SES still broadcasts RT News in India and South Africa with the tacit approval of the Luxembourg authorities.
It adds that on December 8, before the INGE2 Commission of the European Parliament chaired by Raphaël Glucksmann, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell declared that he was going to personally investigate in order to determine why France had not implemented sanctions according to the guidelines published last June by the European Commission.
It also says that other channels broadcast by Eutelsat include two Russian Army channels, two Orthodox Church channels which support the aggression and accuse the Ukrainian LGBT community of being responsible for the war, and the Grozny TV channel, under the grip of Ramzan Kadyrov. Eutelsat also broadcasts RT Arabic on three satellites to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
In addition, the Denis Diderot Committee also indicates the need to set up a European Task Force, bringing together the European institutions, the companies concerned, the professional organisations of journalists, the experts and the NGOs to define a strategy making it possible to provide the Russian population with information precise and pluralistic analyses of the aggression against Ukraine, its human and economic consequences. In particular, the possibilities of using the capacities freed up on the Eutelsat 36B satellite and those which will be available on the Eutelsat 36 D satellite, whose launch is scheduled for 2024, to offer the Russian population a package of channels constituting an alternative to those currently existing.