The National Electronic Mass Media Council of Latvia (NEPLP) in compliance with sanctions imposed by Council of the European Union (EU) has decided to restrict the distribution of seven RT (formerly known as Russia Today) group programmes in Latvia, which in the opinion of Latvian security authorities are most influential Russian propaganda channels in the West Europe.
RT, RT HD, RT Arabic, RT Spanish, RT Documentary HD, RT Documentary, RT TV is restricted because they are in effective control, possession and sole control of Dmitrii Kiselev, who is a subject to sanctions imposed by Council of the European Union (EU) for undermining of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
RT, established in Russia in 2005, is a network of television programmes for
international community, it distributes in English, Spanish, Arabic and other languages, the distributed content is consistent with the official position of Kremlin.
RT in broadcast, similar as other Kremlin propaganda channels, have tried to portray Latvia as a failed country. In addition, Kiselev is one of the most visible implementers of Russian propaganda campaigns and a presenter of television broadcast.
Given that Kiselev is a subject to sanctions throughout all territory of EU, NEPLP will inform media regulators in other EU countries about the taken decision and believes that a similar restriction of distribution would be acceptable in all territory of EU. “The evidence we have obtained is very strong and we will ask all EU regulators to follow our example and restrict RT on their territory. There is no place for such programmes either in Latvia or in the European Union,” says chairperson of NEPLP Ivars Āboliņš.
The adoption of this decision was largely facilitated by the new amendments to the Electronic Mass Media Law, which were announce in June.
The decision will come into force upon notification and will remain in force until Kiselev is removed from EU sanction list. The programmes are registered in Russia Federation and Great Britain.
In November of last year NEPLP decided to restrict the distribution of nine Russian programmes in territory of Latvia, of which the real beneficial owner is Yury Kovalchuk, who is a subject to EU sanctions. NEPLP is currently continuing to actively verify and identify beneficial owner of various programmes.