MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. Moscow has every ground to take measures against Germany’s Deutsche Welle media holding after YouTube took down RT’s German-language channels "with the support of German authorities" since Deutsche Welle’s work has repeatedly been negatively assessed by the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) commission tasked with investigating foreign interference into Russian affairs, commission head Vasily Piskarev said on Wednesday.
Earlier, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan reported that YouTube irreversibly removed two German channels of the company (RT DE and DFP). The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it was done "with clear condonation by if not at the insistence" of Berlin.
"The commission believes that Russia has every reason to take measures to respond. The Russian Foreign Ministry and regulators have all the instruments necessary to do that," Piskarev was quoted as saying by the commission. He recalled that more than 20 German media outlets have accreditations from the Russian diplomatic agency, but not all of them abide by Russian laws. "Activities of the Deutsche Welle media holding in the Russian information space has been repeatedly criticized by the commission," he added.
Russia’s media watchdog earlier sent a letter to Google demanding to lift all restrictions placed on RT’s German-language projects on YouTube and explain why there were imposed in the first place. If Google declines to unblock the channels, the company can face a fine of up to one million rubles ($13,750). If the demand is turned down once more, the fine can soar to three million rubles ($41,200). The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it would appeal to all Russian agencies with the proposal to slap similar tit-for-tat measures on YouTube and German media outlets in Russia.