MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. Russia reserves the right to take tit-for-tat steps in response to Moldova’s law on amending the Code on Television and Radio Broadcasting, which limits Russian TV channels’ broadcasts, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"We regret to note that this act of outright discrimination against Russian media outlets is a continuing effort and yet another anti-Russian attack by the ruling parliamentary majority in Chisinau. For our part, while reaffirming our commitment to the generally accepted reciprocity principle in international relations, we reserve the right to counteractions," the diplomat stressed.
"The way the Russophobic forces in Moldova’s parliament once again imposed their will on the population, trampling on the fundamental right to free access to information, shows that the country is moving further away from democratic norms, sliding into totalitarian practices of fighting alternative points of view," she said.
Moscow believes all that "requires a response not just from such specialized international institutions as the OSCE," Zakharova noted. "It would be also interesting to hear the assessment of official representatives of European agencies on how the Moldovan authorities’ zeal to purge the country’s information space conforms to the pan-European values," she added.
On January 10, Moldovan Parliament Speaker Andrian Candu endorsed a law on introducing amendments and additions to the Code on Television and Radio Broadcasting. From now on, Moldova will only allow news, analytical, political and military TV and radio programs broadcasted from the EU, the US, Canada and those countries that have ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (Russia did not ratify it).
These restrictive measures have been discussed in Moldova since 2015. Moldovan President Igor Dodon refused to back this legislation. In his view, it "contradicts the principles of democracy and violates basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.".