Russia’s RT hit with British fine for breach of broadcast rules

Russia’s RT hit with British fine for breach of broadcast rules

Russia’s RT hit with British fine for breach of broadcast rules

The Kremlin-funded news channel, formerly known as Russia Today, was found to have broken the British broadcasting code on seven occasions in the six weeks after last year's Salisbury novichok poisoning.

The foreign ministry statement further accused United Kingdom authorities of "trying to limit the activity of Russian media in the country".

"We closely follow the developments", the ministry said, adding that the British media operating in Russian Federation should be ready to "face consequences of London's actions".

Relations between London and Moscow sharply deteriorated after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a Soviet-era nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury in March 2018.

Russian Federation on Friday warned British media operating on its territory that they should be ready for consequences after Britain's media regulator fined the state-financed RT television channel over its coverage of the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal. "Our investigation found that RT failed to preserve due impartiality in seven news and current affairs programs between March 17 and April 26, 2018", the regulator added.

It also noted that the fine was issued ahead of a court case that is set to rule on the very legitimacy of the media watchdog's conclusions.

The broadcaster rejects accusations of being a Russian state propaganda channel and says it presents an alternative - and independent - take on world news.

Russian Federation has repeatedly said in the past it will subject British media in Russian Federation to the same treatment RT gets from British authorities, suggesting it may move to fine British outlets for alleged impartiality failures if the punishment for RT stands.

"At the same time, the amount significantly exceeds the fines imposed on other media for such serious violations as incitement to hatred and calls for violence, while RT media is subjectively accused by the regulator of "lack of impartiality"," the news channel added.

"It is astonishing that, in contrast, Ofcom sees RT's programmes.as worthy of greater sanction than programmes containing hate speech and incitement to violence".

It takes into account the additional steps that RT has taken to ensure its compliance since it launched its investigations; and that it has not recorded any further breaches of its due impartiality rules against RT to date.

A spokesperson said the response was "inappropriate and disproportionate".

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