Germany bans Russia's German-speaking RT
Germany, in clear violation of the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression, bans Russia's RT German-speaking broadcaster from airing in the country, despite it having a license.
Germany's broadcasting regulator said Wednesday Berlin had banned the transmission of Russia's RT Deutsch-speaking broadcaster in the country.
The transmission of RT DE was "prohibited because it does not have the necessary broadcasting license," the authorization and oversight commission claimed.
Moscow vowed retaliation, saying this step left Russia no choice "other than to start implementing retaliatory measures against German media accredited in Russia," the foreign ministry said in a statement following its ban in Germany.
Similar measures would be taken against "internet-intermediaries" that have deleted the channel from their platforms, in a nod to YouTube.
"The verdict of the German media regulator is an unambiguous sign that Russian concerns were demonstrably ignored," the statement said.
RT's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan condemned the move as "complete nonsense," and told the German regulator the channel would not stop broadcasting.
Сегодня немецкий регулятор MABB постановил, что продакшен-компания RT DE Productions должна прекратить вещание на спутнике Eutelsat, Smart TV, сайте и приложении RT, а также на платформе 'Одиссей'.— Маргарита Симоньян (@M_Simonyan) February 2, 2022
She also reminded Berlin that today was "the anniversary of Stalingrad."
Отдельно напоминаю немецкому регулятору, что сегодня годовщина Сталинграда.— Маргарита Симоньян (@M_Simonyan) February 2, 2022
Победы в Сталинграде.
"The company [RT DE Productions] produces several programs for the RT DE TV channel, which broadcasts from Moscow and has full broadcast rights in Germany and 32 other European countries," she added further on Telegram.
Europe had blocked RT DE from its satellite network on December 22 at Berlin's request, less than a week after going on air, but was still available over the internet and via its mobile app.
RT DE responded to the suspension by arguing that it was broadcast from Moscow and had a Serbian broadcasting license, which gives it the right to broadcast in Germany under European law.
"We cannot understand why a supposedly informed and independent regulator should act on what appears to be a purely political basis, based on a false version of reality that serves its own purpose," RT asserted.
The German regulator argued back by saying the channel was based in Berlin and did not have a "legitimate permit under European law."
RT DE will be seeking an appeal in court against the regulator's decision.
The ban constitutes a ban on an alternative point of view, President of the Russian Journalists' Union Vladimir Soloviev told TASS, adding that it violates the principles of freedom of expression."
It is speculated that Berlin took this move as a means to show its western allies that it is taking a firm stance on Russia in light of rising tensions on Ukraine after it had been accused of not doing so for still being on board for Nord Stream 2.