This was the first time in post-Soviet history for a major Western media outlet. Russia ordered the closure of the local offices of Deutsche Welle International Radio and TV station Deutsche Welle on Thursday, February 3, in retaliation for banning Russian channel RT from broadcasting in Germany.
Russia’s decision is “Unacceptable”, German Culture and Media Minister Claudia Roth reacted on Thursday.She pointed out that RT in German is broadcasting “Unauthorized and[avait] Did not ask for permission”unlike Deutsche Welle in Russia.
The closure of Russia’s foreign ministry comes amid a crisis between Moscow and the West over Ukraine, which fears a Russian invasion. For the past three decades, the Kremlin has been careful not to attack foreign media, and Russia’s media sector has been following suit since Vladimir Putin took over the country in 2000.
The policy has evolved as relations with Westerners have soured, including the expulsion of a BBC reporter and a Dutch journalist in 2021. “Retaliation” Moscow announced on Thursday that “office closed” Deutsche Welle business premises, “Revocation of certification for all employees” this office and “Broadcast Interruption” Such media on Russian territory.
Deutsche Welle CEO Peter Limberg protested in a statement ‘Such a ridiculous response’has not been officially notified. “Russian authorities’ measures are incomprehensible and excessive”he criticized.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also announced the launch of a procedure to recognize Deutsche Welle as “Foreign Agent”a notorious and controversial label that has been affixed to several Russian media critics of power.
According to Moscow, there are also plans to “Representatives of the German state and public institutions involved in restricting RT broadcasting”, a channel that has significantly boosted the Kremlin’s standing abroad.Russian authorities have clarified that these measures are ” The first stage”Promise additional responses “On Time”.
A few hours ago, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed the German regulator’s broadcast ban on RT as “Attack on free speech”.
On Wednesday, Moscow also pledged to punish those “Arbitrary and unreasonable removal of account from channel”, apparently referring to the US giant YouTube, which suspended its German-language account on December 16, the day RT went live. The channel’s satellite broadcasts in Germany soon ceased.
On Wednesday, German regulator ZAK banned RT Deutsch from playing on its website and mobile app, saying “Permission required” never “Neither required nor granted”. Moscow believes that this decision is actually a “For political reasons”.
Relations between Russia and Germany have soured in recent years, with Berlin specifically identifying the poisoning of rival Alexei Navalny and condemning a Russian operative for carrying out an alleged assassination ordered by Russian power in the German capital . Delays in the commissioning of Nord Stream 2, the gas pipeline between the two countries, have also angered Moscow.
The RT channel was launched in 2005 under the name “Russia Today” and is funded by the Russian government. It has grown into multiple languages, including English, French, Spanish, German and Arabic.
RT has sparked controversy in several countries, including the US, where it is registered as “Foreign Agent”, in the UK, authorities threatened to strip him of his broadcasting license. The channel has been banned in several countries, including Lithuania and Latvia. In France, RT has been widely accused by authorities of being a disinformation tool for the Kremlin.