Russia promises “retaliatory measures” against French media after freezing of RT France assets

Bercy maintains that the freezing of the assets of the Russian media in France follows mechanically from the latest European sanctions against Moscow.

MO12345lemonde with AFP

Moscow promised Saturday January 21 to take retaliatory measures against the French media in Russia, after the bank accounts of RT France, French branch of the Russian RT channel, which is suspended in the European Union (EU) , were frozen. “The freezing of RT France accounts will lead to retaliatory measures against the French media in Russia. They will remain memories if the French authorities do not cease to terrorize Russian journalists,” warned a source in Russian diplomacy, Cited by Russian press agencies Ria Novosti and Tass.

Friday, the unions of RT France had denounced the gel of the accounts of the channel in France. “With this sanction, nearly one hundred employees and approximately fifty journalists who will probably switch to unemployment in unemployment,” the FO (Force Ouvrière) and SNJ (Syndicat des journalists) were moved in a statement.

According to them, the accounts “are frozen by French decision”. “We received a letter from our bank on January 18 which informed us that our accounts were frozen at the request of the Directorate General of the Treasury,” said an elected SNJ of RT France on Saturday to the France-Presse agency (AFP ).

The Ministry of the Economy had challenged this interpretation, ensuring that the chain’s assets had been frozen in application of the most recent European sanctions. Unlike the initial sanctions decided after the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, in February 2022, those which were taken in December 2022 provide an “asset freezing” of the entities, told AFP a source in Bercy. Among these entities is “ano tv novosti, parent company holding RT France 100 %”, which therefore explains the frost “of the assets of RT France”, continued the same source.

Accused of being instruments of “disinformation” of the Kremlin, the Sputnik and RT media (including its French -speaking version, RT France) were prohibited from broadcasting in the EU from March 2, 2022, on television As on the Internet, following an agreement of the twenty-seven shortly after the start of the conflict in Ukraine.

Entry by RT France, European justice had confirmed this decision in July. This package of initial sanctions only prohibited the dissemination of RT content in the EU, not their production itself. Until now, RT France therefore continues to produce and disseminate content, available despite the ban using a virtual private network (VPN), a service to navigate the web by bypassing the blocking. The French situation is special, because since the suspension of RT in Germany, at the end of 2021, France was the only member state of the EU to host a subsidiary of RT on its soil.

/Media reports cited above.