GENEVA (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 of 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 said that Sputnik and RT posed a danger to European unity and called for extra European Commission funding for counter-propaganda projects.
"I think they [members of the European Parliament] began to panic because they decided that despite all their efforts to establish a single point of view, it does not work with the European public. So they started to panic. And that is why, the nationalists and extremists from Eastern Europe came out with this proposal," Mettan, who is also the author of the book, titled "The West vs Russia – a thousand year long war: Russophobia from Charlemange to the Ukrainian Crisis," said.
The European politicians realized that public opinion in Europe toward Russia was changing to positive, and people began to understand Russian policy in Syria, Mettan added.
"I think this decision is regrettable since the European Union is able to protect the freedom of expression only by resorting to prohibition of another side. And there is an obvious contradiction in this approach. The resolution of the European Parliament is completely incomprehensible and it runs counter all the stances previously announced by the bloc," Mettan stressed.
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.