MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution on countering Russian media outlets, such as the Sputnik news agency, which belongs to Rossiya Segodnya media group, and the RT broadcaster. As many as 304 voted in favor the document, 179 voted against and 208 abstained. With a total of 691 officials taking part in the vote, less than half supported the resolution.
"The resolution explicitly discriminates Sputnik and RT, openly calling to hinder the activities of these media outlets. This is a totally unacceptable approach. This decision is completely opposite to the basic democratic values, which Europe defends. This is a blatant media censorship," Kuleli said.
He stressed that Europeans should have an access to obtain information both from national and international media sources, including the Russian outlets, to get a more comprehensive understanding of what is happening in the world.
"The European Parliament positions itself as a defender of the European values, freedom of press, people's right to free access to information. But all of these principles are discredited by the resolution. Frankly, the European Parliament had no significant reason for such a decision," Kuleli said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the move demonstrated "degradation" of how the West perceived democracy. He praised the news agency Sputnik and the international broadcaster RT for their work, saying he hoped the resolution would not entail any curbs on Russian news outlets.