RT France coerced into shutting down its activities, setting precedent

The French government has forced RT France to close its offices in the country after freezing the bank accounts of the press and making sustainability impossible.

  • RT France sign at the Paris studio (TASS)

The broadcaster announced the closure of its offices in the country on Saturday, following France’s decision to freeze RT France’s bank accounts.

It is worth noting that RT France is not on the sanctions list and has the right to operate in France, but due to the decision of the French government, according to editor-in-chief Ksenia Fedorova, it will not be possible to maintain the activities of the new outlet. became impossible.

In a statement, the broadcaster said, “After five years of patience, those in power have achieved their goal – the closure of RT France. Under the pretext of the ninth package of Russian sanctions, the parent company’s We are referring to the shareholders of the company, the Directorate General of Finance, who has decided to freeze the bank accounts of RT France, making it impossible for us to continue our activities.”

Additionally, the press claimed it had been “targeted since its inception,” and the European Union called for censorship of the television channel from the start.

The war in Ukraine, which RT France is said to have covered in a “balanced manner”, will eventually “shut down RT France”, given that the channel is “blameless”. ” was used as an excuse. statement.

RT France therefore viewed the decision as political and said it was “not based on a legal judgment”.

In other words, the statement exclaimed that such a decision amounted to nothing but an overt “censorship” and warned that “the deafening silence from other French media and journalists was only the beginning”, citing the Setting a “very dangerous” precedent. Used to target many other Russian media outlets.

As a result of this coercive decision on behalf of Paris, up to 123 RT France employees are likely to be at risk of unemployment and “cast the future of media freedom in France into doubt,” it said. The statement concluded.

Russia vows revenge after RT France bank accounts are frozen

Similarly, Moscow has vowed to retaliate against the French media in Russia after the EU member state RT France’s bank accounts were frozen.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned that France will “remember” these measures unless the authorities stop “terrorizing” Russian journalists.

Fedorova explained that when they approached the bank for clarification, they were guided by the authorities’ orders.

At the request of Reporters Without Borders, the French Council of State announced in early December 2022 that French satellite operator Eutelsat will continue broadcasting Russian television channels Rossiya 1, NTV and Channel One in Russia and Ukraine. It has ordered media regulator Arcom to reconsider the decision. .

READ MORE: Russia accuses Western media of press manipulation in Ukraine

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