British media regulator to consider sanctions against Russian TV channels

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LONDON, February 11. /TASS/. British media regulator Ofcom is going to consider introduction of sanctions against Baltic Media Alliance Ltd, the license-holder of two Russian TV channels (NTV Mir Baltia and NTV Mir Lithuania) over their failure to be impartial in covering, according to the regulator’s report released on Monday.

According to the British regulator, “this is the sixth time that the Licensee breached the due impartiality rules in the Code on its channels NTV Mir Lithuania and NTV Mir Baltic since November 2014.”

“Therefore, subject to receiving the Licensee’s representations on this issue, Ofcom is minded to consider the imposition of a statutory sanction,” Ofcom said.

Ofcom had previously checked the complaints about two broadcasts on NTV Mir Baltia on April 2 and 3 last year. The regulator revealed a violation in the Segodnya news program, where a discussion was held on April 2 on the poisoning of Russian ex-Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

In that program, Ofcom notes, they quoted a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said that the British colleagues’ “inability to answer the questions on Skripal case would mean only one thing: that all of this is fabrication or, specifically, a rude provocation.”

According to the British watchdog, this news program was focused on serious political disagreements, mainly on the current state policy, namely the policies and actions of the British and Russian governments with regard to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

The British media regulator may initiate an investigation if it believes that the broadcaster or service provider has violated the provisions of the regulator’s charter, license terms, broadcast rules, or other requirements of Ofcom.

After the incident in Salisbury, where the Skripals were exposed to a nerve agent last March, Ofcom launched 10 investigations into the RT television channel, as many as in the previous 11 years.

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