Last week we reported that it seemed increasingly likely that countries in Europe would shut down RT’s broadcasts, labelling the channel ‘Russian propaganda’. Now it has been confirmed by the European Commission president.
Ursula von der Leyen announced Sunday that the EU will ban not only RT (Russia Today), but also Sputnik TV broadcasts. It is not known at this time whether the ban will extend to the websites of the networks.
In what she admitted was an “unprecedented” step, von der Leyen declared “we will ban in the European Union the Kremlin’s media machine,” claiming that the networks are spreading “harmful disinformation.”
“The state owned Russia Today and Sputnik, as well as their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war and to sow division in our union,” the Commission head proclaimed, adding that the EU is further “developing tools to ban toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe.”
In other words, only Western EU bureaucrat approved media broadcasts will be available for consumption throughout the bloc from now on.
The announcement came simultaneously with a declaration to shut down EU airspace for all Russian aircraft:
Second, we will ban the Kremlin’s media machine in the EU.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 27, 2022
The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries,
will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war.
We are developing tools to ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe. pic.twitter.com/7RcPEn6E14
The Commission’s head also tellingly proclaimed that Ukraine “belong[s] to the European Union” and that “They are one of us and we want them in.”
The EU has also placed sanctions on RT’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan.
RT was banned in Germany last month, has since been banned in Australia, and is facing the same fate in the UK, where the government’s culture secretary has called for the broadcast regulator to institute a ban.
"It's okay when we do it."— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) February 23, 2022