Pro-Kremlin channel Russia Today France closes after EU sanctions

The European Union suspended the broadcasting of RT France shortly after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 because it served as a conduit for Russian propaganda.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement on March 2: “Systematic information manipulation and disinformation by the Kremlin is applied as an operational tool in its assault on Ukraine. It is also a significant and direct threat to the Union’s public order and security.”

RT (Russia Today) France appealed the ban but lost.

Russian news agencies earlier quoted an anonymous Foreign Ministry source as saying that Moscow would retaliate against French media in Russia over the closing of RT France’s bank accounts.

But RT France continued to produce and distribute programs available via virtual private networks (VPN), the French AFP news agency said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine also called on Serbia not to allow the broadcasting of Russian media.

However, shutting down RT will not stop the spread of pro-Kremlin propaganda in France. Pro-Russian propagandists and even some journalists from RT are masking themselves in the global media and publishing their stories on new platforms such as Omerta and Reseau International.

The European Union, therefore, needs an effective mechanism to quickly identify and ban new websites that spread pro-Kremlin propaganda and fake stories because they threaten security.

By the way, most Western media outlets are already off-air in Russia and have seen their websites banned.

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