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.
"We are opposed to propaganda," IPI’s Steven Ellis told RIA Novosti. "We may have concerns about specific method used. … And the effort to combat these problems should be narrowly tailored to make sure that it is not misused to restrict a legitimate gathering or news determination efforts."
The EU parliament'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 would not follow.
The IPI is a Vienna-based organization founded in the early 1950s. Over the decades, it has grown into a leading press freedom advocacy group with members in more than 120 countries.