Latvian media regulator has issued license to one Russian broadcaster - TV Rain

  • 2022-08-01
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) has issued a broadcasting license to one Russian television company - TV Rain, NEPLP chairman Ivars Abolins informed on Twitter.

Latvian Radio reported last week that over 200 Russian journalists and 23 media organizations from Russia have moved to Latvia since Russia started its war in Ukraine.

According to Abolins, the Latvian regulator has only issued one license - to TV Rain, but that NEPLP has nothing to do with the remaining 22 organizations, which are not electronic mass media. 

Abolins indicated that NEPLP operates within the scope of its competence and the law - before the license was granted, TV Rain was properly vetted, which included also an assessment of the company's beneficial owners.

TV Rain is being and will be monitored, and in an instance of any violations there will be an adequate and instant response, Abolins said.

The NEPLP head said that TV Rain has so far been operating in compliance with Latvia's laws and that the political interviews given by its journalists are their personal choice.

Earlier, public service media website reported that the State Security Service has warned Latvia's top officials of the risks associated with an increasing number of Russian media companies launching operations in Latvia. 

According to the Latvian Radio report, some of the 23 Russian media organizations that have relocated to Latvia have officially started operations in Riga to inform people in Russia also about developments in Ukraine, which due to Russia's new regulations they are unable to do in their own country. 

In a written statement to Latvian Radio, the Security Service says that it analyzes developments in the media environment in the context of the current geopolitical situation and Russia's aggressive war in Ukraine. The Security Service said it has identified risks, including security and intelligence-related risks, the presence of independent Russian media might pose in Latvia.