UK's OFCOM 'Clearly Biased' Against RT Amid Blocking of Broadcaster's Accounts

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The Russian Foreign Ministry is concerned over the blocking of RT broadcaster's accounts in the United Kingdom and calls on British authorities to assist in solving the situation. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday that Britain's media regulator OFCOM "is clearly biased" against RT.

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RT's Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said earlier this month that the international broadcaster's accounts had been blocked in the United Kingdom. RT UK said it had been informed by NatWest that its banking arrangements with RT were null and void.

"The intention of British bank Natwest to close the accounts of RT [in UK] creates problems for functioning of the channel," the Russian ministry said Saturday.

The ministry added that Moscow raised the issue with British authorities in the OSCE.

"The explanations of the [UK] partners claiming that the [British] government has nothing to do with the situation are doubtful as more than 70 percent of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Natwest is part of, is state-owned," the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

"Such actions and clear bias of British media regulator OFCOM in relation to the Russian channel [RT] are in line with attempts to extrude a popular broadcaster that presents an alternative perspective on world events from the British media space," the ministry said.

Moscow expressed hope that British authorities who are "declaring their commitment to the principles of media freedom will prove this stance and take steps to help resolve the situation," the ministry concluded.

RT operates a number of cable and satellite television channels in a number of languages and is directed at a foreign audience. The channels provide 24-hour news coverage, as well as airing documentaries, talk shows and debates.

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