Moscow Vows Response to Berlin Forcing EU Satellite Operator to Take RT DE TV Channel Off Air
08:46 GMT 22.12.2021 (Updated: 09:37 GMT 22.12.2021)
RT DE, which started broadcasting last week, immediately faced pressure from Berlin, as its YouTube account was deleted, while German authorities have launched an investigation into the broadcaster.
Moscow has vowed to respond to Berlin forcing the European satellite operator, Eutelsat, to take RT's German TV broadcast off air.
In an exclusive for RT, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov didn't rule out Russia coming up with a mirror response to the RT DE channel being excluded from broadcasting in Europe. At the same time, the minister emphasised that Moscow has no desire to put pressure on media in the same way.
The foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, has also taken to her Telegram channel, writing: "Berlin has forced the European satellite operator to exclude RT DE from broadcasting. This is persecution of the media, informational segregation. The reaction will not be long in coming".
Eutelsat has been forced to remove RT's 24-hour German-language channel from its platform due to a demand by the media regulator MABB (Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg).
"It is inappropriate for the German regulator, MABB, to overreach and ignore the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, under which it is subject, thereby forcing Eutelsat to remove RT DE from the carrier solely due to the unsubstantiated and factually flawed claims of the German regulator", RT’s press service pointed out.
"We believe this amounts to illegal pressure and are confident this action will be redressed by the courts. We will be seeking all possible remedies against the German regulator, and our audience can continue to access our content across multiple platforms and online", it said.
RT expressed confidence that a court will annul the German regulator's decision, and RT DE will again become available to Eutelsat clients.
RT launched a 24-hour news service in German last week, broadcasting live news, talk shows, and documentaries from studios in Moscow and Berlin. Before that, RT DE proved to be number one among German-language media platforms
by interactions on Facebook, bypassing Bild, Spiegel, ZDF, and other outlets.
The broadcaster, however, is facing pushback from the German authorities. In August 2021, RT DE was refused a broadcasting license in Luxembourg after reportedly receiving a recommendation from Berlin. In September, YouTube also removed two RT DE channels without the right of recovery, citing alleged "violations of community rules".