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Russia urges Moldova to stop suppressing Russian-language media — MFA

Maria Zakharova recalled the blocking of a number of Russian and Russian-language Moldovan media since February 2022
Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Russia considers the Moldovan authorities’ suppression of two Russian-language news resources as a blatant violation of the people’s right to access information.

Moscow calls on Chisinau to abandon such discriminatory practices, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a commentary distributed on Friday.

On January 19, Moldova’s Information and Security Service made a decision to block the and portals.

"We consider the blocking of the above-mentioned information resources as another in a series of gross violations by the Moldovan authorities on far-fetched pretexts of the principle of ensuring pluralism of opinion and media freedom, as well as the right of Russian-speaking residents of Moldova to access information. We urge Chisinau to refrain from such steps that are not in line with freedom and democracy, to lift the previously imposed discriminatory bans on the broadcasting of Russian and Russian-language media in the country and give up dubious ambitions to appropriate some kind of monopoly on the truth," Zakharova said.

She stressed that these actions by Chisinau were the latest in a long string of measures "aimed at ousting Russian-language content and Russian-language media from Moldova’s information space." Zakharova recalled the blocking of a number of Russian and Russian-language Moldovan media since February 2022, the ban on Russian news and socio-political television programs, as well as the revocation of licenses from six channels broadcasting in Russian.

"All this is being done against the backdrop of unbridled and outspokenly anti-Russian activities in that country by the Ukrainian and Western media," Zakharova stressed.

At the end of February, a state of emergency was introduced in Moldova in connection with the events in Ukraine. Restrictions were imposed on television broadcasts from Russia. Also, Russian newscasts were banned and the Sputnik Moldova news site and other resources were blocked. The Prosecutor General's Office warned it had begun to investigate a number of individuals on suspicion of what it argued was incorrect coverage of the events in Ukraine.

Earlier, Zakharova pointed out that Russia had interpreted the Moldovan authorities’ crackdown on TV channels as a shameless infringement of the rights of ethnic minorities and was demanding the international organizations concerned give an adequate assessment of what happened and take all appropriate measures.