BERLIN, February 3. /TASS/. The German Federation of Journalists (DJV) calls on Russian President Vladimir Putin to lift the measures against the Deutsche Welle media outlet that were announced earlier in response to Germany’s ban of the RT DE TV channel, the organization said in a statement on Thursday.
"The German Federation of Journalists calls on Russian President Vladimir Putin to immediately overturn the decision to shut down Deutsche Welle’s operations," the statement reads. "There is no excuse for these radical measures of censorship," the document cited DJV Chairman Frank Iberall as saying. He slammed the Russian authorities’ move as "a cheap reaction" to the German regulator’s decision to ban RT DE from broadcasting in Germany. "Unlike the RT DE propaganda channel, Deutsche Welle offers independent and critical journalism," the organization pointed out.
The DJV added that it expected the German government to "clearly protest" against Russia’s move. "The German government is responsible for Deutsche Welle and its staff. There is a need to make Moscow understand it," the DJV said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced earlier that Moscow was shutting down Deutsche Welle’s news bureau in Russia as the first stage of retaliatory measures following the German regulator’s move to ban RT DE in Germany. Other measures will include the withdrawal of credentials from all staff members at Deutsche Welle’s Russian bureau and the launch of a process aimed at identifying Germany’s government and public agencies involved in banning RT DE from broadcasting and putting other kinds of pressure on the Russian media outlet, who will eventually be barred from entering Russia. Moscow’s measures also include a procedure to consider if Deutsche Welle should be declared a foreign media outlet acting as a foreign agent. At some point, Russia intends to fully halt Deutsche Welle’s broadcasts in the country.
On Wednesday, Germany’s media watchdog banned RT DE from broadcasting its German language programs in the country, citing the lack of a necessary license.