صدى البلد البلد سبورت قناة صدى البلد صدى البلد جامعات صدى البلد عقارات
Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Russia Bans Access to over 80 EU Media Outlets


Wed 26 Jun 2024 | 12:47 PM
Israa Farhan

Moscow has barred Russians from accessing 81 Western media sites from 25 EU countries, citing their alleged dissemination of "inaccurate information" regarding Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine, the term used by the Kremlin for its invasion.

Labeling the conflict in Ukraine as a war or invasion is a criminal offense in Russia, which has already shut down most independent and critical media within its borders.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Tuesday's action was a response to the EU's May decision to block four "Kremlin-linked propaganda networks," including the Prague-based Voice of Europe, from broadcasting in Europe.

Russia denounced the EU's decision as "politically motivated," while Brussels claimed it was to counter outlets supporting Russia's invasion.

Prominent Western media outlets such as AFP, Der Spiegel, El Pais, and state broadcasters from Austria, Ireland, and Italy were among those blocked by the Kremlin. Politico was also included in the ban.

European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova condemned the move as "nonsense" on social media platform X. 

Moscow indicated that it would consider reversing the decision if the EU lifted its ban on Russian outlets.

"The Russian side has repeatedly warned at various levels that politically motivated harassment of domestic journalists and unjustified bans on Russian media in the EU area would not go unanswered," they said.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, many Western media outlets withdrew staff from Russia, fearing retaliation under new laws criminalizing criticism of the Russian armed forces. DW was banned within days of the invasion, prompting journalists to leave the country swiftly.

This decision comes just before the espionage trial of US Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who denies allegations of working for the CIA and has been detained for the past year.

Russia ranks 162nd out of 180 in the 2024 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, with reporters frequently facing imprisonment, harassment, and fatal threats.