RIGA - In line with the sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia's state-controlled propaganda 'news' outlet RT, the Latvian National Electronic Mass Media (NEPLP) council has decided to ban seven RT TV channels, urging other EU member states to do the same.
As LETA was told at NEPLP, the ban has been imposed on the following TV channels: RT, RT HD, RT Arabic, RT Spanish, RT Documentary HD, RT Documentary and RT TV. Latvia is banning the channels because RT is controlled by Dmitry Kiselyov who is on the EU list of sanctioned persons due to his central role in Russian propaganda in support of the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, by the Russian Federation and ongoing Russian military activity in eastern and southeastern Ukraine.
RT, formerly known as Russia Today, is Russia's state-controlled multilingual network of television channels broadcasting in English, Spanish, Arabic and other languages and spreading pro-Kremlin content. Like other pro-Kremlim propaganda outlets, RT in its programs has been casting Latvia as a failed state. Kiselyov, meanwhile, is a TV host and one of the leading promoters of Kremlin propaganda, NEPLP said.
Since Kiselyov is subject to sanctions in all EU territory, NEPLP will inform about its decision media regulators of other EU member states and believes that a similar ban on RT should be imposed across the EU.
"The evidence we have obtained is very strong, and we will call on the regulators of all other EU member states to follow our example and ban RT in their territory. Such programs have no place in Latvia or elsewhere in the EU," said NEPLP chairman Ivars Abolins.
The ban will take effect upon its promulgation and will remain effective until the EU removes Kiselyov from the sanctions list. The RT channels in question are registered in Russia and the UK.
In November 2019, NEPLP already banned nine Russian TV channels whose beneficial owner Yuri Kovalchuk is also on the EU's sanctions list for undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine.