The Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania has banned the broadcast of the Russian TV channel RT in the country.
The reason was the connection of the TV channel with the Russian TV presenter and director general of the news agency "Russia Today" Dmitry Kiselyov, who is on the EU sanctions list, explained the chairman of the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission, Mantas Martisius.
"Based on the information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission has decided to stop the rebroadcast of five RT programs in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania," Martisius said. He stressed that the ban is not related to any violations but is imposed precisely because of sanctions against Kiselyov.
"Probably, the members of the Lithuanian commission put "Rossiya Segodnya" in Google-translator, and it translated it to Russia Today. This phantasmagoric stupidity can not be explained otherwise. I have been the head of RT TV channel for almost 15 years, since its founding. Dmitry Kiselyov is the head of Russia Today MIA,” RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan told Russian news agency RBC.
At the end of June, broadcasting of seven RT programs - RT, RT HD, RT Arabic, RT Spanish, RT Documentary HD, RT Documentary, RT TV was stopped in Latvia. In Riga, the ban was also explained by the fact that RT is under Kiselyov's control. The broadcast will not resume as long as the Russian TV presenter remains on the European sanctions lists.
Kiselyov himself said that he has nothing to do with RT, and the Latvian authorities should apologize to the channel for their actions and lift the ban.
The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, called Latvia's actions incompetent and outrageous. She added that Riga had failed to understand Kiselyov's ties to RT.