Russia bans Deutsche Welle from broadcasting

Status: 03.02.2022 4:01 p.m

One day after the end of the Russian state broadcaster RT DE in Germany, the Kremlin reacted: Deutsche Welle was banned from broadcasting. The correspondents office will be closed.

Russia has banned Deutsche Welle from broadcasting. In addition, the Russian Foreign Ministry ordered the closure of the correspondent’s office of the German foreign broadcaster in Moscow and the withdrawal of the journalists’ accreditations.

This was Russia’s reaction to a broadcast ban on the German-language program of its state broadcaster RT DE.

According to the ministry, the broadcasting of Deutsche Welle’s Russian-language programs via satellite and all other means of transmission is prohibited. In addition, proceedings are being initiated to declare Deutsche Welle a “foreign agent”.

Sanctions are also planned against “representatives of German state and public structures involved in restricting the broadcasting of RT,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The measures are a “first step” in Moscow’s retaliatory measures. There will be another response in due course.

“Cheap Return Coach”

The German Association of Journalists reacted immediately to the ban on Deutsche Welle. He called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to immediately reverse the decision. “There is no justification whatsoever for this drastic censorship measure,” said DJV national chairman Frank Überall. The step was a “cheap tit for tat” for the decision of the German media regulator.

Everywhere defended the German approach, because in contrast to the “propaganda channel RT DE”, Deutsche Welle offers independent and critical journalism. A “clear and unmistakable protest” must now come from the federal government, explained Everywhere.

The FDP foreign policy expert Alexander Graf Lambsdorff also criticized the broadcasting ban as “a reaction by Moscow that is as transparent as it is wrong” to the German media regulator’s decision to license RT DE. Deutsche Welle is “just not a state broadcaster” like RT DE, “but offers an independent program”. The decision shows once again that the Russian government is moving away from universal values ​​such as democracy and freedom of expression and that the country is moving further into self-isolation.

Baerbock: “No state radio allowed”

In Germany, the regulators of the competent Commission for Licensing and Supervision (ZAK) at the media authorities had prohibited the organization and distribution of the television program RT DE. The lack of a broadcasting license was given as the reason for the ban published on Wednesday.

At her meeting with her colleague Sergei Lavrov in January, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock declared that state radio was not permitted in Germany.

On the other hand, the Kremlin spoke on Thursday of an attack on freedom of expression and freedom of the press. “The situation is perfectly clear: a Russian mass medium, I would even say an international mass medium, is banned from broadcasting in Germany. This is nothing more than an attack on the freedom of speech,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the Interfax agency.

Critics accuse RT of Kremlin propaganda

RT – formerly Russia Today – broadcasts in many countries and sees its German-language program as a contribution to the diversity of opinion in Europe. Critics, however, accuse RT of Kremlin propaganda and disinformation.

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan proposed on Wednesday to take action against Deutsche Welle in Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly threatened measures against German media and correspondents in Moscow, but has so far left concrete steps open.

Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international broadcaster. It was founded in 1953 and is an institution under public law and part of ARD. The station offers programs in 30 languages ​​on television, radio and the Internet. The head office is in Bonn.

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