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EU Court upholds broadcast ban on Russia Today

The Court of Justice of the European Union on Wednesday upheld the EU ban on Russia Today (RT) broadcasts that the bloc imposed as part of its sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The Grand Chamber of the General Court dismisses RT France’s application for annulment” of the EU sanctions temporarily banning broadcasts of the state-run Russian TV channel, the EU Court said.

Among its first restrictive measures in response to the war in Ukraine, the EU in March suspended broadcasts of Russia’s state-owned news agency Sputnik and RT’s English, German, French, and Spanish channels.

As EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell explained, the decision was meant to end “systematic information manipulation and disinformation by the Kremlin [being] applied as an operational tool in its assault on Ukraine.”

The EU Court ruling found the sanctions “aimed at suspending the activity of a vehicle for propaganda in support of that military aggression” did not violate the general principle of freedom of expression.

It also stated that the limitations to RT’s right to be heard are “proportionate, inasmuch as they are appropriate and necessary, to the aims pursued” despite “the exceptional context and the extreme urgency in which the contested acts were adopted.”

The EU has slapped seven sets of sanctions against Russia since Feb. 24, when Moscow’s war on Ukraine began.

The packages target, among others, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, bans gold, oil, and coal imports, and exports of luxury goods, as well as excludes Russian and Belarusian banks from using the SWIFT international payment system. Anadolu Agency

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