On Wednesday the European Parliament adopted a controversial resolution designed to counter what they termed as ‘hostile propaganda.’ The Resolution equates Russian media outlets such as Sputnik and RT with propaganda from Daesh and other jihadi terrorist groups which are outlawed in Russia. The resolution said that Sputnik and RT posed a danger to European unity and called for extra European Commission funding for counter-propaganda projects.
The resolution sparked controversy even amongst European deputies. 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.
Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the matter by pointing out that the document indicates a degradation of democracy in the West. Sputnik responded by calling the move a direct violation of media freedom and human rights.
Many journalists, officials, human rights activists from different countries of the world have expressed their solidarity with Russian media and condemned EU Parliament’s resolution.
The head of the “The Voice of Vietnam” radio broadcaster’s hub in Moscow Diep Anh Nguyen told Sputnik Vietnam that he was “shocked” by the resolution.
“I can’t believe that the European Parliament could have proposed such decision on Russian media,” Nguyen said.
He added that he follows Sputnik and RT and has never found any grounds for suspicion of impartiality or provocation.
“I consider the EU Parliament’s resolution to be biased, hostile and unjust. I assume that Russia will have to take countermeasures,” Nguyen said.
“The fact that the European legislative body equates media and terrorist organizations is unacceptable,” he stressed.
Vietnamese TV channel VTV-4’s journalist Thị Hồng Hoa Hoàng called the resolution “evidence of the deep degradation of today’s Western democracy.”
“This resolution demonstrates that the West can accept no opinion, no point of view, but its own. It demonstrates disrespect for the basic principles of freedom of speech and democracy on the whole,” Hoàng told Sputnik Vietnam.
She also recalled a phase which was wrongly assigned to Voltaire but belongs to his biographer Evelyn Hall: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”