RIGA - The National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) on Monday decided to issue a broadcasting license to the independent Russian television Dozhd (Дождь/TV Rain), which means that from now on the channel will be broadcasting its programs from Riga, NEPLP chairman Ivars Abolins told LETA.
Dozhd suspended operations indefinitely at the beginning of March. Natalya Sindeyeva, the founder and CEO of the Dozhd media holding, explained the TV channel's further operation became impossible after Russia's State Duma adopted a law on "fake news".
Dozhd will appear on the list of Latvia-registered TV channels from June 9.
Abolins said that talks on the independent Russian TV channel's relocation to Latvia lasted around three months with several media companies involved in the negotiations.
Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russian authorities have intensified their crackdown on the media, declaring "fake news" any information exposing the war crimes committed by the Russian army in Ukraine, killings of Ukraine's civilians, losses suffered by the Russian forces and the Ukrainian people's resistance to the invaders.
The Moscow office of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, as well as a number of independent Russian media have relocated to Riga after leaving Russia.