Russia blocks access to 81 European media outlets, including AFP website, on its territory

Russia has decided to block access to European media outlets in retaliation for the European Union’s decision to ban four Russian state media outlets, a measure that comes on top of the ban on the broadcasting of several Russian or pro-Russian media outlets that has been in place for more than two years.
Russia announced on Tuesday June 25 that it was blocking access to the broadcasting of 81 European media outlets, including the AFP website, in “retaliation” for the EU’s decision in May to ban four Russian state media outlets.

“Countermeasures are being introduced on access from Russian territory to the broadcasting facilities of media outlets of EU member states,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, blaming Brussels for the restrictions. The list published by the Russian ministry includes the German media Der Spiegel, the Spanish El Mundo and El Pais, the Italian television RAI, and other French media such as the dailies Le Monde, Libération and the channels LCI and CNews.

“Very painful” measures

The Twenty-Seven had agreed in mid-May to sanction four Russian media – Voice of Europe, Ria Novosti, Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta -, accused by Brussels of broadcasting pro-Kremlin propaganda. The sanctions taken by the EU must also include a “ban on Russian financing of media, NGOs and political parties in the EU”, the European Commissioner for Values ​​and Transparency, Vera Jourova, had specified at the time. Moscow had subsequently threatened the European Union with reprisals. Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for Russian diplomacy, had promised “very painful” measures.

For more than two years, the European Union has banned the broadcasting in Europe of several Russian or pro-Russian media outlets, including Russia Today, accusing Moscow of using these media to “spread its propaganda and conduct disinformation campaigns.”

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