Russia threatens German media in retaliation for RT curbs

Russia today (RT)
Russia today (RT)

dpa/GNA – Moscow has criticized Berlin for allegedly imposing curbs on its state broadcaster RT and in turn threatened to limit German media operating in Russia.

“We call on Berlin in all seriousness to secure a normal functioning of RT,” Maria Zakharova, spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told dpa.

Zakharaova said that banks in Germany were refusing to open a business account for RT due to pressure from authorities, and called for all restrictions on the broadcaster to be lifted.

“Otherwise we will be forced to employ tough countermeasures for German media working in Russia,” she said, without naming concrete details.

“We are still hoping for an amicable solution,” Zakharova said, adding that Berlin has not reacted to the criticism so far.

Russia has criticized the fact that the bank taking care of RT’s finances is to close its account by the end of May. Dozens of German and international banks have refused to cooperate with the broadcaster, according to Zakharova.

Russia also said that political pressure had increase since that announcement that the online German-language broadcast RT DE would become a full television channel. It was reportedly meant to go on air in December, but a licence has not been issued yet.

RT, formerly called Russia Today, has been criticized for being a part of the Kremlin’s propaganda machine. The broadcaster is owned by the state-owned news agency Rossiya Segodnya.

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