Russia has shut down the Moscow bureau of Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international media broadcaster, and has withdrawn the press credentials of all of DW’s journalists on Friday.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that it was cancelling DW’s broadcasting license in Russia, calling it a response to the ban of the Russian broadcaster in Germany, reported DW.
Notably, the Russian state broadcaster, RT DE can no longer be transmitted in Germany and the ban of DW’s Moscow bureau comes as a response to that.
DW Director General Peter Limbourg has called the move an ‘overreaction’.
“The measures by the authorities in Russia are completely incomprehensible and a total overreaction,”, he said.
Furthermore, the German MABB media watchdog and Commission for Licensing and Supervision of media organizations on Wednesday said that RT DE could not broadcast in Germany using a Serbian license, reported DW.
Though licencing issues were cited, Russia had criticized a German regulator’s ban on German-language programming by Russia’s state broadcaster RT as an attack on freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
Having credentials of DW’s Moscow Bureau staff revoked, they have stopped working early on Friday.
“We have been made into a kind of pawn, which the media must often endure in autocracies. We formally protest against this absurd reaction by the Russian government and we will take legal action against the announced measures. Until we are officially presented with the measures, we will continue reporting from our office in Moscow. Even if we ultimately do have to close it, our reporting about Russia will remain unchanged. In fact, we would increase our coverage.”, Limbourg added.
This is a key development as last week on Friday, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht and both shared their concerns over Russia’s military deployments near Ukraine and emphasized their strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, reported DW. ANI