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Kremlin denounces decision to end RT broadcasting in Washington as unfounded

March 30, 13:11 UTC+3

Russian TV broadcasting network RT will disappear from television screens in Washington overnight into April 1

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© REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. The Kremlin has called the decision to end the broadcasting of Russian TV company RT in Washington groundless and discriminatory.

"Lawyers are thoroughly studying (this situation), but on the face of it this still looks like an unfounded decision, because even the status of a foreign agent cannot be reason in itself for removing a media outlet from the closed circuit," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Peskov noted that "the situation is rather contradictory, as despite the operating contract the cable networks stated that they will not provide services for RT anymore." "This is a very alarming and scary trend, as such voluntaristic actions are reflective of discriminatory policy against mass media in the US, which runs counter to United States law, runs counter to the declarations of adherence to the freedom of speech and democracy that we are hearing from Washington all the time," the Kremlin spokesman stated.

He stressed that the Kremlin has studied this situation and considers it "very dangerous and risky."

Off the air

Russian TV broadcasting network RT will disappear from television screens in Washington overnight into April 1. According to Bloomberg, the reason for it is the suspension of the operation of WNVT and WNVC - digital stations that carry over a dozen foreign TV channels, including RT, Deutsche Welle, France 24 and the Turkish news service TRT, in the Washington area.

WNVT and WNVC are ending their operation because they decided to sell their airwaves for use by developers of wireless applications. The spectrum auction will take place in a year, but the broadcasting of the stations has to terminate now under the established procedure, the agency reported.

After WNVT and WNVC go off the air, RT will disappear from local cable systems which are required by federal law to carry all broadcasters in their area, Bloomberg reported.

In November 2017, RT was registered as a foreign agent following the demand of the US Department of Justice. Anna Belkina, RT’s deputy editor in chief, told Bloomberg that the Russian company plans to continue its work with distribution partners in the US capital and other US regions. However, she noted that the decision of the US Department of Justice which obliged RT to be registered as a foreign agent has complicated this work.

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