LONDON, October 18. /TASS/. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group, which incorporates NatWest bank, has dropped the idea of closing down Russian RT television channel’s accounts in Great Britain, The Times said on Tuesday.
"The state-owned bank withdrew its planned punitive action after Moscow claimed it would freeze the BBC’s finances in Russia and report Britain to international watchdogs for breaching commitments to freedom of speech," the newspaper writes.
On Monday, the Russian broadcaster’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan tweeted that the RT’s bank accounts in Britain had been frozen. The message from the NatWest bank (an affiliate of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group) said without explaining the reason that cooperation with the TV channel was coming to an end and the accounts would be closed down in two months’ time. A source in the UK Ministry of Finance told TASS the freeze of the accounts was the bank’s own decision and not new sanctions against Russia. Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said the issue was "a matter for the bank."