The French branch of the Russian channel RT saw its assets frozen under European sanctions, following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022.
David Himbert / David Himbert / Hans Lucas via R
RT France, the French branch of the Russian channel Russia Today announces its closure, after five years of existence in France.
MEDIA – End clap for the French branch of the Russian channel RT. The day after the announcement of the freezing of the bank accounts of RT France, the television channel announced this Saturday, January 21 that it was going to close definitively.
“After 5 years of relentlessness, the authorities in power have therefore achieved their ends: the closure of RT France (…) The General Directorate of the Treasury has decided to freeze the bank accounts of RT France, making it impossible to continue our activity “announced on Twitter Xenia Fedorova, president and director of the chain.
RT France funds are frozen at the request of the General Directorate of the Treasury, due to the 9th package of sanctions… https://t.co/vEpeOWRN2K
— Xenia Fedorova (@xfedorova)
Denouncing a « mesure arbitraire »it asserts that 123 French employees, including 77 press card holders, “Risk today not to be paid their salary for the month of January and will lose their job by the fact of the prince”.
The French Ministry of the Economy had explained to AFP that the assets of the chain had been frozen in application of the most recent European sanctions and not at the direct initiative of the French State.
Unlike the initial sanctions decided after the Russian military intervention in Ukraine in February 2022, those taken in December provide for an “asset freeze” of the entities targeted, AFP was told. And among them:ANO TV Novosti, parent company owning 100% of RT France”which explains « le gel des avoirs de RT France» .
Moscow promises to react
Accused of being instruments of “disinformation” of the Kremlin, the media Sputnik and Russia Today (including its French-language version RT France) were banned from broadcasting in the EU from March 2, on television and on the Internet, following an agreement between the Twenty-Seven shortly after the start of the conflict in Ukraine.
This initial sanctions package only banned the broadcast of RT’s content in the EU, not the production itself. Since then, RT France has therefore continued to produce and broadcast content, which can be consulted despite the ban via a virtual private network (VPN).
After this announcement, the Kremlin this time reacted to the closure of the channel. A source within the Russian diplomacy, quoted by the Russian press agencies Ria Novosti and TassMoscou announced that Russia had promised to take retaliatory measures against the French media in Russia. “They will be remembered if the French authorities do not stop terrorizing Russian journalists”.
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