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RT France assets frozen: Moscow promises retaliatory measures against French media

Russia promised this Saturday to take retaliatory measures against the French media in Russia. The decision came after the bank accounts of RT France, the French affiliate of Russia’s RT channel that has been suspended in the European Union (EU), were frozen.

“The freezing of RT France accounts will lead to retaliatory measures against French media in Russia. They will be remembered if the French authorities do not stop terrorizing Russian journalists,” warned a source in Russian diplomacy, quoted by Russian news agencies RIA Novosti and TASS.

On Friday, RT France unions condemned the network’s bank account freeze in France. “With this sanction, almost 100 employees and about fifty journalists are likely to become unemployed,” according to a press release from the FO (Force Ouvrière) and SNJ (Union of Journalists) sections of RT France, according to which reports are “frozen by decision of the French state.” “On January 18, we received a letter from our bank informing us that our bank accounts have been frozen at the request of the General Treasury Department,” RT France’s elected SNJ clarified this Saturday.

European solution

The French Ministry of Economy responded that the network’s assets were frozen in connection with the application of the latest European sanctions, and not on the direct initiative of the French state. Unlike the initial sanctions imposed after the Russian military intervention in Ukraine in February 2022, the sanctions adopted in December include an “asset freeze” on targeted organizations, the source said. Among these entities is ANO TV Novosti, the parent company that owns 100% of RT France, thus explaining the freeze on “RT France’s assets,” the same source continued.

Accused of being tools of “disinformation” from Russia, Sputnik and RT media outlets (including its French-language version RT France) have been banned from broadcasting in the EU since March 2, 2022 on TV and the Internet. RT France-captured European justice confirmed the decision in July. This initial package of sanctions only banned the broadcast of RT content in the EU, not the product itself.

Thus, until now, RT France continues to produce and distribute content that can be viewed, despite the ban, using a virtual private network (VPN), a service that allows you to browse the web without blocking. The situation in France is special as, following the suspension of RT in Germany at the end of 2021, France became the only EU Member State to host an RT subsidiary.

Source: Le Parisien

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