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Russia warns of response measures following YouTube’s removal of RT channels

"A clear political motive behind YouTube’s actions is obvious," Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the OSCE Maxim Buyakevich noted

VIENNA, September 30. /TASS/. Russia will not leave the openly hostile actions against its mass media, including RT, unanswered, Maxim Buyakevich, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the OSCE, said at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday following YouTube’s removal of RT’s German-language channels.

The Russian side once again called for consolidated efforts to elaborate a universal mechanism to control social platforms. "More to it, the openly hostile actions against Russian media, which are doing their job in the digital and traditional segments of the information space, will not be left without an adequate response from the Russian side. It seems that mere words are not enough to change the situation," Buyakevich noted.

He said that YouTube’s attempts to explain its flagrant actions against RT channels by some sort of abstract violations of in-house rules are unacceptable as a manifestation of open censorship and a violation of the freedom of expression. "A clear political motive behind YouTube’s actions is obvious. These actions are being carried out in the wake of Washington’s policy of squeezing information sources giving alternative views to and going up against the Western media mainstream out of the global media space," he said.

"Apart from that, there are no doubts that YouTube has ventured such illegal actions against the media project, which is ranked fourth among German-language mass media outlets in the News and Politics category with actual support from the German authorities. It is yet another link in a long chain of examples of the infringement upon Russia Today journalists’ rights in a number of OSCE nations," he stressed.

According to the Russian diplomat, around 700,000 subscribers to the two internet channels have been deprived of their chosen source of information following YouTube’s massive politically-motivated crackdown. These actions have infringed upon their fundamental right to the freedom of information committed to paper in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other OSCE documents, Buyakevich stressed.

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said earlier that the video-sharing platform YouTube had removed two German-language channels (RT DE and DFP). The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it had taken place "with the open and covert support of the German authorities and local media".