Russian Ambassador Says RT DE Under Pressure in Germany
BERLIN (Sputnik) - Russia is concerned by reports the RT DE channel was taken off air at the request of the German media regulator, Ambassador to Berlin Sergei Nechaev said.
"We are extremely concerned about reports that the satellite signal transmission of the Russian German-language TV channel RT DE, which started broadcasting on December 16, 2021, was terminated at the request of the German media regulator. We state with regret that RT DE is under constant pressure in Germany to prevent or make it as difficult as possible for a Russian company to start working on a local audience", the ambassador told Russian journalists.
According to him, "attempts to eliminate a strong competitor in the media field and restrict access to an alternative and at the same time exclusively professional point of view on world events are clearly discordant with statements about the inadmissibility of censorship, protection of freedom of speech, press and the right to information".
Also on Wednesday, the federal German government said it had no role in the decision to take the RT DE broadcaster off air in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg.
"The case of RT Deutsch is covered by state media regulations and a state media regulator is involved, so it is not a question for a government spokesperson", Steffen Hebestreit told reporters at a news briefing.
German regional media authority Mabb has started an investigation into RT DE for allegedly airing programmes in German without a broadcasting license soon after launch.
The move was followed by European satellite operator Eutelsat taking the channel off the air on Wednesday, with RT branding the step illegal. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova suggested that Russia might retaliate.
The launch of RT DE has been surrounded by controversy in the European Union, with German media and politicians accusing the broadcaster of manipulations with facts targeting Germans of Russian origin.