MOSCOW, January 9. /TASS/. The Russian Union of Journalists views the shutdown of 16 Russian TV channels in Latvia as a "clean-up" of the media space in this country, the Union Secretary, Vice President of the International Federation of Journalists Timur Shaffir told TASS.
"Not only before our eyes, but before the eyes of all European institutions that are supposed to boost and protect the freedom of speech and the media, the final clean-up of the media space of Latvia and the neighboring Baltic States takes place. [This is a cleanup] from Russian media and from the information coming from Russia or being spread in the Russian language as originating in Russia and being presented through the eyes of Russian journalists," the official said.
Shaffir believes that this process will not end there. "After the cleanup of the air is complete, there will be blockings, sanctions and bans on Internet streaming; new fines will be introduced for viewing and use of Russian content. These processes have nothing to do with the freedom of speech, and nobody in the Baltic States and the EU considers it necessary to hide this," he noted.
According to Shaffir, an informational expulsion of Russia from the European media space takes place.
The National Electronic Mass Media Council of Latvia prohibited the broadcasting of 16 more Russian TV channels starting on Feabruary 10, including REN TV Baltia and NTV Mir Baltia.