"'The French intelligentsia' decided to forget all about liberty, equality, fraternity and asked to close down RT France so that it would not confuse the minds of the French and would not get in the way of their believing in liberty, equality, fraternity," Simonyan said, as quoted by the RT.
On December 20, the letter addressed to the head of French Superior Council of the Audiovisual, Olivier Schrameck, was published by Le Monde newspaper, two days after RT began broadcasting in France. The letter was signed by author Galia Ackerman, historians Antuan Arzhakovskii and Wladimir Berelowitch, journalist Michel Eltchaninoff, as well as teachers and translators.
RT France Should be Supported in 'Every Possible Manner'
"It should not be closed down, no matter how much some representatives of civil society in this or that foreign country are demanding it, but it should rather be supported in every possible manner," Slutsky said.
The lawmaker noted that not everyone in France was opposed to the broadcaster, adding that RT was extremely valuable to the Russians living in the country.
For several months RT has been facing pressure over its activities in the United States, where it had to register as a foreign agent. The broadcaster subsequently lost accreditation in the US Congress. The accusations against RT concerned its alleged attempts to influence the public life in the United States at the behest of the Kremlin. RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan has denied these claims, while a number of senior Russian officials have stressed that Russia does not interfere in other states' affairs.
In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin also signed the law allowing the Russian Justice Ministry to designate foreign media outlets funded from abroad as "foreign agents."