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Moscow says Latvia’s ban on Russian TV channel broadcasting violates freedom of speech

April 08, 13:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
It cannot be assessed as anything other than disregard of fundamental principles of freedom of speech and press, the Russian Foreign Ministry says
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© Zurab Javakhadze/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. Riga’s decision to ban broadcasting of Russia’s RTR Rossiya TV channel violates freedom of speech and press, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

"The Latvian authorities have embarked on a course of total censoring by any available means of Russian media that goes against the declared adherence to European values. It cannot be assessed as anything other than disregard of fundamental principles of freedom of speech and press," the foreign ministry said.

The ministry expressed hope that "leading relevant international structures, including the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, will adequately assess these unfriendly actions by Riga."

On April 7 Latvian National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) banned the RTR Rossiya TV channel from broadcasting on the territory of the republic. The NEPLP press service said that after analyzing shows from January 18 and 19, as well as shows from 6 July 2015, the council came to a conclusion that they contain features of violating several laws on electronic media and inciting hatred.

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