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    French Activists Forgot Ideals of Liberty - Simonyan on Calls to Close RT France

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan referred to the famous French motto of liberty, equality, and fraternity, as she commented on Thursday on the open letter of French activists asking the country's media regulator to suspend the license of the RT, which recently began broadcasting in France.

    "'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'

    The RT broadcaster deserves support rather than closure, even if activists in France want it to be shut down, the chairman of the lower house of Russian parliament's International Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "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.

    READ MORE: RT Editor-in-Chief Glad There Are Concerns in US Over Interpretation of FARA

    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." 

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    chairman, RT, Russian State Duma international affairs committee, Leonid Slutsky, United States, Russia
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