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May 26, 2022 12:53 pm

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Britain Revokes UK Licence of Russia’s State-funded TV Channel


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Britain’s broadcasting regulator on Friday revoked the licence of Russia’s state-funded television channel RT, in the latest international repercussion for Moscow after its invasion of Ukraine. “Ofcom has today revoked RT’s licence to broadcast in the UK, with immediate effect,” it said in a statement, adding that the channel was not “fit and proper” to operate in the country.

The move follows a similar ban issued by the European Union earlier this month as Western nations seek to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine.

The pro-Kremlin channel has been taken off the air in the UK in recent weeks following the EU’s action, because satellite companies based in Europe provide the RT feed to British platforms.

But Ofcom had not revoked its licence until Friday.

The regulator said it made the decision amid 29 ongoing investigations into the “due impartiality of RT’s news and current affairs coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.

“We consider the volume and potentially serious nature of the issues raised within such a short period to be of great concern,” it adding, noting the channel also had a history of compliance issues.

Ofcom has previously fined RT £200,000 ($263,000, 238,000 euros) for past due impartiality breaches.

The licence ban will prompt fears of reprisals by the Kremlin against British broadcasters still operating in Russia, including the BBC and Sky News.

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