Aangeleverd door: Spruitje
Rightly so: Vladimir Putin threatens to ban all British media from operating in Russia if RT loses its UK licence
Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:26 UTC
Russia has threatened to ban British reporters from its country if its state broadcaster loses its UK licence as the row over the Salisbury spy poison attack intensifies.
It comes after Britain’s media regulator said Russia Today (RT) faces losing its licence to broadcast in the UK if Moscow was found to be behind the Salisbury chemical attack on a former Russian double agent.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry, was quoted by the state-run RIA news agency as saying: “Not a single British media outlet will work in our country if they shut down Russia Today (RT)”.
It is unclear whether the threat to ban British media will extend to World Cup coverage on television, radio and newspapers.
Meanwhile in a blunt warning to Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, Zakharova also said nobody should threaten a nuclear power, alluding to Russia.
Mrs May has said Moscow may have been behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury and has said it is ready to take tough action against Moscow.
What we know so far:
- Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury on Sunday
- Theresa May accused Russia of poisoning Skripal using deadly nerve agent Novichok and has vowed revenge
- She gave Russians until midnight tonight to give us an explanation for what happened, or we will take action
- Putin laughed off suggestions Russia was involved, as other officials accused Britain of running a circus show and acting like Hitler
- Amber Rudd said police and MI5 would reopen investigations into other suspicious deaths in the UK
- The British ambassador in Moscow has been ‘summoned to the Kremlin’ over the case
- Russia has demanded access to the nerve agent gas used in Salisbury before responding to the PM’s ultimatum
- Cops cordoned off Skripal’s house and the grave of his wife and son fearing others could be exposed to the poison
- 500 people were told to wash their clothes, phones, and glasses after possibly coming into contact with the nerve agent
But some British lawmakers have said Russia Today should be blocked after the poisoning.
The round-the-clock news network is funded by Vladimir Putin’s government to broadcast news with an edge for viewers who want to “question more”.
Meanwhile Ofcom, which enforces the broadcasting code in Britain, has said today any ruling that Russia had acted unlawfully against Britain over the poisoning would be taken into consideration when assessing the network.
The regulator said has an ongoing duty to check that holders of licences are “fit and proper”.
RT, which runs eight TV channels including RT UK broadcast from London, said it disagreed with the position taken by Ofcom.
“Our broadcasting has in no way changed this week from any other week and continues to adhere to all standards,” it said in a statement.
“By linking RT to unrelated matters, Ofcom is conflating its role as a broadcasting regulator with matters of state.”
Available in more than 100 countries, RT says it covers stories overlooked by the mainstream media and provides alternative perspectives on current affairs, including giving a Russian viewpoint.
May will brief parliament on the situation tomorrow and Ofcom said it would consider the implications for RT’s broadcast licences after that.
In a letter to ANO TV Novosti, the holder of RT’s UK broadcast licences, Ofcom said it would carry out an independent “fit and proper” assessment and would write to RT again shortly to set out the details of the process.
“This letter explained that, should the UK investigating authorities determine that there was an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the UK, we would consider this relevant to our ongoing duty to be satisfied that RT is fit and proper,” Ofcom said.
Comment: The Brits are clearly desperate and, therefore, losing the plot. It’s only rational to assume that if the UK bans RT (which is part of their goal in this concocted scandal) the result will be increased popular support for RT among British citizens. After all, that’s exactly what happens when you tell people that they should not watch something!
- Skripal Likely Poisoned by British Intelligence in Effort to Smear and Silence Russian World View
- Kremlin: Russia was not responsible for Skirpal case, won’t accept groundless threats and ultimatums from UK
- Mercouris on the Skripal crisis: Russia asked to “prove innocence” while UK unable to provide any proof .
- British government advances toxic agenda for Russian media
- UK’s actions an “unprecedented provocation”, investigation is “non-transparent”, Russia vows a response