CHISINAU, July 07. /ITAR-TASS/. About 300 people gathered outside Moldova’s Coordination Council for TV and Radio Broadcasts to protest a ban on the Rossiya 24 TV news channel that will be in force until January 1, 2015.
The Coordination Council has also imposed penalties on a number of Moldovan television channels for re-transmitting Russia’s NTV, Channel One, RTR and REN TV.
The protesters chanted “No to Censorship!”, “Freedom to Press!” and “Down with the Leaders of Coordination Council for TV and Radio Broadcasts”. They decided to launch a nationwide campaign to support Russian television channels that broadcast in Moldova.
After signing an association agreement with the European Union, the Moldovan leaders immediately demonstrated to its people how they were going to introduce “European values".
“If the authorities stick to their decision and continue exerting pressure on the Russian media, the protest actions will become infinite,” Deputy Igor Dodon, the leader of Moldovan socialists, told ItTAR-TASS.
According to him, Moldova’s ruling pro-EU Coalition is exerting pressure on the Russian media with an aim to restrict access of Moldovan voters to information.
“By doing so, the corrupt to the core (Moldovan) politicians are trying to save themselves from imminent defeat at the forthcoming parliamentary elections in November,” Dodon stressed.
Restricting broadcast of Rossiya 24 TV channel
Moldova’s Coordination Council for Television and Radio Broadcasts banned all Rossiya 24 broadcasts in Moldova until January 1, 2015 at a meeting on July 4 for the reason of “biased presentation” of news. Besides, the Council issued its warning to Moldovan television channels that re-transmit other Russian channels such as NTV, Channel One, RTR and REN TV. Moldova’s TV and Radio Broadcast body explained that the content of Russia 24 programs allegedly mismatched the provisions of Moldova’s TV and Radio Code.
In Moldova, Rossiya 24 was available exclusively via cable networks.
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry described Moldova’s ban on Rossiya 24 TV news channel as outrageous. “It will certainly produce a negative impact on Russian-Moldovan relations,” the ministry said last Friday.
"It is clear that Moldova took this step under a far-fetched pretext on the wave of euphoria from signing an association agreement with the European Union. However, the decision does not meet an integral right of citizens to free access to information, one of the basic European democratic principles, which Chisinau is zealously trying to observe,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement.