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Moscow condemns crackdown on Russian media abroad

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova speaks during the briefing about foreign policy in Moscow, Russia, September 17, 2020. (File photo)

Russia has slammed the outrageous ban on the country's media by Western governments, calling the move a violation of freedom of speech.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that the West's crackdown on Russian media was not only “a flagrant violation” of freedom of speech, but also was “discriminatory in nature.”

Earlier this month, French TV regulator Arcom ordered satellite operator Eutelsat to stop broadcasting Channel One Russia, Rossiya 1, and NTV channels. Zakharova said the French operator was “under apparent pressure from the authorities.”

The ban is “another testament that the Western ideal democratization model is in fact no more than a tool for achieving foreign policy goals,” Zakharova pointed out, adding, “Moscow is outraged by the new steps taken by Paris aimed at introducing more and more broadcasting bans on Russian media, both on its territory and in the EU as a whole.”

Zakharova said, “Such a display of Russophobia, which, unfortunately, has already become mundane, [points to] the aspiration to silence any voices that provide an alternative to the EU propaganda at all cost.”

Russian media covered news that French mainstream media, and the EU in general, refused to report.

Europeans “are being deprived of the right to free access to information,” Zakharova said, suggesting that Paris and Brussels might be “afraid that the audience, after seeing a different point of view and picture of the world that does not correspond to that shown by the mainstream of the Western media, will draw their own conclusions” about global politics and the Ukraine conflict.

French President Emmanuel Macron was the first western leader to call for a Europe-wide ban on Russian state media after Moscow started its military operation in Ukraine in February.

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