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Latvia bans Russian television channel RT

SeattlePI.com Tuesday, 30 June 2020 ()
HELSINKI (AP) — The Baltic nation of Latvia has banned the state-controlled Russian television channel RT, saying that it is effectively controlled by a media figure who is under European Union sanctions.

But the man in question, Dmitry Kiselev, mocked the move, saying that he never was in charge of RT. He suggested that Latvia should apologize to the channel and put it back on air.

He has been on the EU sanctions list for his alleged role in promoting Kremlin propaganda in support of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

In all, the Latvian National Electronic Mass Media Council has banned seven channels belonging to the multilingual network operated by RT from being broadcast in Latvia, saying RT was under Kiselev's “effective control.”

The Latvian National Electronic Mass Media Council banned seven channels belonging to the multilingual network operated by RT from being broadcast in Latvia, a former Soviet republic of nearly 2 million.

It listed the channels as RT, RT HD, RT Arabic, RT Spanish, RT Documentary HD, RT Documentary and RT TV, charging that they have remained under Kiselyov's effective control and his personal oversight.

In its ruling, the Latvian national media watchdog charged that RT attempted in its programs to present Latvia as a failed state.

Kiselev, who heads the state Rossiya Segodnya media group that includes the RIA Novosti news agency and the Sputnik news service directed at a foreign audience, derided the decision, pointing out that he has nothing to do with RT, which was formerly known as Russia Today.

While Rossiya Segodnya means Russia Today translated into English, it was RIA Novosti that had founded RT before Kiselyev took the helm, and the two organizations long have split.

“It testifies to the stupidity,...
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