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Eastern Europe

Moscow Reacts To Moldova’s Suspension Of Six Russian Language Television Stations

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Last week, CD Media reported that the Moldovan government moved to ban media outlets with pro-Kremlin sympathies. The television stations affected include Primul in Moldova, RTR Moldova, Accent TV, NTV Moldova, TV6, and Orhei TV. The Russian government condemned the move over the weekend.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, “We view this ban as an unprecedented act of political censorship, as the abuse of the principle of media pluralism, and as a blatant breach of the right to free access to information, the adherence to which the Republic’s political leadership regularly reiterates…. Through this step, officials in Chișinău, hiding behind alleged responsibility to protect its citizens from ‘an incorrect’ interpretations of events in Moldova and the world, intentionally deprives millions of Russian-speaking residents of the remaining sources of news content in their preferred language in the country. Hundreds of journalists will lose their jobs in no time at the whim of politicians who are playing censors.” 

Zakharova added that Moscow views the decision by Moldovan authorities as a cynical violation of the rights of ethnic minorities. “We demand that the relevant international organizations give a proper assessment of this move and take any possible measure to rectify this unacceptable situation,” she added.

Given recent warnings from Alexandru Musteață, head of Moldovan intelligence, about a possible Russian attack on the country in the coming year, the move by Moldovan authorities seemingly provides Russia with a pretext for invasion, one which they could undoubtedly characterize as necessary to protect the Russian ethnic minority from persecution by the regime in Chișinău.

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