MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution on countering Russian media outlets, such as the Sputnik news agency 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 new resolution of the European Parliament is the best recognition of achievements of the RT broadcaster and Sputnik, as it shows that the Western media is unable to cope with the competition without politicians' help," Dragan Pajic, the program director at Radio Republike Srpske (RTRS), said.
Marko Milacic, a journalist, activist and the executive director of the Movement for Neutrality of Montenegro, considers that the resolution has legitimated absence of freedom of press, crackdown on journalists and harassment of dissidents.
"I am glad that I am a frequent interlocutor of Sputnik News Agency, which is 'the most dangerous weapon.' If somebody is adopting such resolutions against you, it means that you are doing everything right. Those who accept such documents, thereby, recognizes own failure, I am congratulating you on the victory," Milacic said.
Wednesday's resolution said that Sputnik and RT posed a danger to European unity and called for extra European Commission funding for counter-propaganda projects. Sputnik responded by calling the move a direct violation of media freedom and human rights, while Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the matter by pointing out that the document indicates a degradation of democracy in the West. Praising Sputnik and RT for their work, the president expressed hope that real media restrictions will not follow.