MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. Moscow is concerned over the situation with the Russian media in Latin America in the wake of Bolivia and Ecuador taking Russia’s RT television channel off the air, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during Thursday’s briefing.
"We are highly concerned about the deteriorating situation with the Russian media in Latin America. Namely, it has become known that the Bolivian operator has decided to stop broadcasting the Russian television channel RT in Bolivia. It is troubling that this has followed the decision to shut down RT in Ecuador," she said.
Russia hopes that the shutdown of RT is not "an attempt to silence alternative sources of information internationally through discriminating one of them," Zakharova added.
"Otherwise, we will be forced to consider these actions as the shift of Bolivia and Ecuador to the opposite direction from the adherence to the norms of international law on ensuring free access to information and freedom of expression," the spokeswoman continued. "Under no circumstances can the media be held hostage to the changing political situation. <…> We call on the related international organizations and non-government structures in the sphere of human rights to react to this."
On November 15, Ecuador’s national cable network took RT off the air without prior notice or explanation.
On November 27, the Bolivian broadcasting company Cotas notified the RT channel that it is being taken off the air. In response to RT's request for explanation, the company’s representatives stated that it had been mandated by Bolivia’s high-ranking officials.