15:53 GMT29 January 2020
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    Former vice-president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Willy Wimmer views NatWest's decision not to block the RT broadcaster's accounts as a positive political development.

    Earlier, it was reported that Britain's National Westminster Bank, also known as NatWest, will not close the accounts of Russia's RT broadcaster in the United Kingdom, thus abandoning its previous decision.

    "That is great, also in terms of the media situation in Europe, when British financial institutions give up their chain measures against RT. It was just a British attempt to get rid of an undesirable and very efficient Russian information channel," Wimmer told Sputnik Germany.

    According to the expert, the decision could have been made after the recent meeting between British Prime Minister Theresa May and US president Donald Trump last Friday.

    "The measures taken against RT should be considered in the overall political context of the conflict […] with the Russian Federation. However, if the United Kingdom, the most faithful of the United States' poodles now submits such signals with respect to RT, it is, in my view, an event of great political importance," Wimmer stated.

    According to Wimmer, there is still military saber-rattling on the Russian-Baltic border, but such signals from the UK make it clear that European states do not benefit from the standoff with Moscow and that the situation "can't go in this direction" anymore.

    Wimmer also added that RT "presented" the European public with "true facts" and "gave a different picture of the European reality than the European government channels or CNN."

    In October last year despite having banked for more than a decade with them it was reported that NatWest had announced its decision to close all RT UK accounts. In a letter to RT's London office the bank provided no further explanation for its action but said the decision was final and not subject to review.
    The move sparked public outcry, with many calling it a politically motivated step and a clampdown on freedom of the press.


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