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EU censoring Russian media, alleges Russian Parliament leader

Moscow : The leader of the Russian Parliament has accused the European Union (EU) of censorship and violating freedom of the press and expression after the latter decided to ban several Russian media.

Taking to Telegram, Vyacheslav Volodin, a confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Saturday, said that the European Union made the move because it lacks arguments to convince its own citizens and, therefore, has blocked what he said were alternative points of view.

Volodin accused the West, which repeatedly complains about censorship in Russia, of double standards.

In Russia, many media outlets that report critically on Putin’s policies and thousands of websites are blocked.

On Friday, the EU member states imposed sanctions on the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, the government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Voice of Europe (VoE) platform and the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia, which also owns a television station.

VoE was targeted for alleged involvement in distributing pro-Russia propaganda. The four media outlets are prohibited from distributing their content across the EU over their support for the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

However, the punitive measures do not prevent staff from the outlets from carrying out their work like interviews and research, an EU statement said

Russia said it will respond to the EU move.

In a previous incident, it stopped Germany’s foreign broadcaster, Deutsche Welle (DW), from broadcasting in Russia. DW had to close its office in Moscow, and its journalists had to leave the country.

That was in response to a ban on broadcasting by the Russian state broadcaster RT (formerly Russia Today).

Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of neighbouring Ukraine more than two years ago, EU countries have withdrawn the licences of several media outlets. The aim is to prevent Russian war propaganda and disinformation from being disseminated in the EU.

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