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Zakharova: RT UK accounts blocked is a farewell to freedom of speech

October 17, 2016, 15:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

RT’s Editor-in-Chief Simonyan said that the British authorities had no sufficient grounds to block the broadcaster’s bank accounts

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© Zurab Javakhadze/TASS

MOSCOW, October 17. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented on the UK’s move to block RT television’s bank accounts by saying that, after withdrawing from the EU, "London has left all its obligations on freedom of speech in Europe."

"Margarita Simonyan noted that all bank accounts of Russia Today television in Britain had been blocked, all of its bank accounts, this is the final decision, which cannot be reviewed. Looks like when London left the EU, it left all of its commitments to freedom of speech in Europe. As they say, a new life without bad habits," Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page.

RT’s Editor-in-Chief, Margarita Simonyan, earlier tweeted that the TV network’s bank accounts in the United Kingdom had been blocked. "Our bank accounts in the UK have been closed. All of our accounts. The decision is not subject for revision. Long live freedom of speech!" she wrote. 

The National Westminster Bank has informed RT UK that it will no longer have the broadcaster among its clients, RT writes. The bank provided no explanation for the decision. 

Simonyan also told the Rossiya 24 TV channel that British authorities had no sufficient grounds to block the broadcaster’s bank accounts, as its work and funding are transparent, and there had been no complaints against it in the past. "They did not explain the reasons, and I believe they will not be able to do so, because there can be no reasons. We had absolutely transparent work there and transparent financing. There were no complaints against us whatsoever in this respect," she explained.

Russia Today was founded in 2005. It launched round-the-clock broadcasts from Moscow in English on December 10, 2005. The project was initiated by Mikhail Lesin, who at that time served as a Russian presidential aide.

Margarita Simonyan has been RT’s Editor-in-Chief since its founding.

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