“Ofcom today revoked RT’s license to broadcast in the UK, with immediate effect,” it said in a statement, adding that the channel did not consider it “appropriate” to operate in the UK.
“The Russian state-funded RT, which recently occupied the sovereign neighbor,” Ofcom said, “The new law in Russia criminalizes any independent press that differs from Russian state-owned media discourse.”
“Under these circumstances, it seems impossible for RT to comply with the impartial standards of our broadcast code,” the controller concluded.
The decision follows a similar veto by the European Union (EU) earlier this month as part of a series of sanctions imposed by Western nations on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The station near the Kremlin has been blocked in the UK in recent weeks as a result of the EU decision, as RT’s transfers to British bases depend on signals sent by satellites operated by companies based in Europe.
However, as of this Friday, the Ofcom channel has not yet been licensed. The body announced the decision ahead of the opening of 29 inquiries into “the impartiality of RT’s news and … coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
Ofcom has already been fined T 200,000 ($ 263,000) for failing to meet its impartial obligation.
Anna Belkina, deputy editor-in-chief of the RT, criticized the decision, saying that “although well-designed in the face of independence, (Ofcom) is nothing but a government tool to suppress the media.”
He also denounced “purely political reasons” directly linked to the situation in Ukraine, which “deprives the British people of access to information.”
The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov condemned “anti-Russian insanity” and “one step above the path of strict restrictions on freedom of expression, in violation of all laws governing the free press, including European law.”
In the United States, the channel is classified as a “foreign agent.”
The Kremlin’s veto will lead to similar rulings against British channels operating in Russia, such as the BBC and Sky News.
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