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Russia Shuts Down Deutsche Welle Broadcast in Response to Germany's RT DE Ban

© Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev / Go to the mediabankRT (Russia Today)
RT (Russia Today)  - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.02.2022
Earlier, German media regulator MABB officially banned RT DE from broadcasting in Germany, claiming that it does not have the necessary permission.
Russia is shutting down Deutsche Welle's broadcast in response to Germany banning RT DE and is launching a procedure to recognise it as a foreign agent, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"The correspondent's office of the German television and radio company Deutsche Welle in the Russian Federation has been closed," the ministry said, adding that all employees of the Russian bureau will lose their accreditation.
Moscow will also draw up a list of officials involved in blocking RT DE's broadcast who will be barred from entering Russia, the ministry added.
"It is planned to launch the process of compiling a list of representatives of state and public structures of the Federal Republic of Germany involved in restricting the broadcasting of RT DE and other pressure on the Russian media operator," the ministry's statement said.

However, publication of the list is not expected, the ministry added.
Earlier in the day, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the ban of RT DE in Russia as an infringement on the freedom of speech.
The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, noted that the OSCE has so far kept schtum over the decision of Germany to ban the broadcasting of RT DE. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro did not see "anything" in this that could be of interest, Zakharova said.
RT DE studio - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2022
Lavrov: Russia Reserves Right to Respond to RT DE Oppression in Germany

Germany's Reaction to Russia Blocking DW Broadcast

The German Foreign Ministry has issued a statement that describes Russia's measures against DW as "groundless".
"The measures announced today by the Russian government against Deutsche Welle have no ground and will bring a new tension to German-Russian relations," the ministry said in a statement, adding that they may limit the broadcast of independent media in Russia.
Earlier, the chief editor of Deutsche Welle's Moscow bureau confirmed receiving the official notification from the Russian Foreign Ministry which says that the bureau must be closed by 9 am Friday, 4 February.
According to DW Director General Peter Limbourg, Russia’s measures against Deutsche Welle are hard to understand and go too far.
"The measures taken by the Russian authorities are in no way understandable and constitute an overreaction," Limbourg said in a statement.

DW will challenge Russia's retaliatory steps and will take legal action.
"We strongly protest this absurd reaction from the Russian government and will take legal action to challenge the announced measures," DW CEO Peter Limbourg said.
German Commissioner for Culture and Media Claudia Roth said Russia’s measures against Deutsche Welle are unacceptable.
"The ban on Deutsche Welle broadcasting in Russia and the closure of its office in Moscow are absolutely unacceptable. The decision appears to be in response to the decision of the state media offices to ban the RT DE broadcast that has to be licensed. However, drawing parallels has no basis. RT DE currently broadcasts without a license and has not applied for a license. On this basis, the state media office [in Germany] made a decision. This is a completely different situation than DW, which is currently having its license revoked," Roth said in a statement, obtained by Sputnik.

Pressure on RT DE

On 1 February, Germany's media regulator banned the broadcasting of RT DE in the country, stating that the broadcast organisers did not have the necessary permission. Moscow said the ban was imposed despite RT DE having a license. RT said it would appeal the decision in court.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it was starting to implement retaliatory measures against German media accredited in Russia, as well as internet intermediaries who arbitrarily and unreasonably deleted the channel's accounts from their platforms.
RT conference, Shape-shifting Powers in Today’s World - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2021
Moscow Vows Response to Berlin Forcing EU Satellite Operator to Take RT DE TV Channel Off Air
In December 2021, RT launched its 24/7 news service in German to broadcast live news, talk shows, and documentaries from studios in Moscow and Berlin. By that time, RT DE already ranked No. 1 among German-language media platforms by its interactions on Facebook. However, the company's YouTube account was deleted. German authorities launched an investigation into the broadcaster, and the European satellite operator was forced to prevent RT DE from broadcasting. Moscow has repeatedly slammed the decision to ban RT DE broadcasting as a "persecution of the media" and pledged retaliatory measures.
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