Russian speaker demands tit-for-tat measures against UK media amidst RT probe

Moscow, Dec 24 (UNI) In a response to Britain’s pressure on Russian television network RT, Moscow should introduce tit-for-tat measures against British mass media outlets working in Russia, Russia’s Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said on Monday.
British media regulator Ofcom said last week that RT had broken impartiality rules in seven programs in the spring of 2018 and it was minded “to consider imposing a statutory sanction.” Ofcom asked the broadcaster to make representations, which it would consider before proceeding further, TASS reported.
The decision by the British media regulator “is just a convincing proof that there is a very bad situation in the West with the freedom of speech and European values” and the propaganda machine there is even tougher than in the Soviet Union, Matviyenko told a news conference devoted to the results of this autumn’s session of the upper house.
Matviyenko blasted the British authorities’ decision as cynical. “Actually, no complaints against RT have been made from the viewpoint of the British legislation. There is a kind of subjective judgement that it has unbalanced information,” she noted. “Let’s look at the Western broadcast about Russia, let’s look at the Western editorial offices’ working in Russia. It’s difficult to find at least one balanced material.”
“We have not introduced any restrictions against mass media outlets, but given this attitude to our Russian mass media, in particular RT, we are simply obliged to take tit-for-tat measures, otherwise it would be unfair,” the upper house speaker said.
Matviyenko also slammed the Times daily for publishing the names and photos of Russian journalists working in the UK. “This is meddling in the journalists’ private life and creating a threat to their life,” she said.
Russia’s telecom and media watchdog, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, launched probes on Friday into the BBC’s websites and the BBC World News channel in order to check their compliance with Russian laws. The move came after the announcement by British media regulator Ofcom on Thursday that the RT TV channel had broken impartiality rules. A BBC spokesperson told TASS the broadcaster works in Russia in full compliance with the country’s laws.

The Insides Speak