Ukrainian ambassador says Russian media needs to be ‘regulated differently’

In an interview with the PA news agency on Friday, Vadym Prystaiko said Russian media needs to be “regulated differently”.

19 March 2022

The Ukrainian ambassador to the UK has said Russian media “has to be regulated differently” following the cancellation of RT’s licence in the UK.

The Kremlin-backed broadcasters had its licence revoked with “immediate effect” by UK TV watchdog Ofcom on Friday.

In an interview with the PA news agency, Vadym Prystaiko said Russians “work in a different sphere” and that Russian media is “propaganda”.

Asked about Ofcom’s decision, he said: “This is an independent body. We never had contact with them.

“I believe they make their own decisions on the merits.”

The Ukrainian ambassador then added: “You know what, what I’m always saying, especially when I talk to journalists, (is) that Russians work in a different sphere, they’re not journalists, they’re not media, they’re propaganda.

“They’re working totally differently. They have to be regulated differently.”

Ofcom said in a statement that RT’s licensee, ANO TV Novosti, is “not fit and proper” to hold a licence amid 29 ongoing investigations into the “due impartiality” of its programmes.

The watchdog said it noted new laws in Russia that “effectively criminalise any independent journalism that departs from the Russian state’s own news narrative”, particularly in relation to the invasion of Ukraine.

It added: “We consider that, given these constraints, it appears impossible for RT to comply with the due impartiality rules of our broadcasting code in the circumstances.

“We have concluded that we cannot be satisfied that RT can be a responsible broadcaster in the current circumstances.

“Ofcom is therefore revoking RT’s licence to broadcast with immediate effect.”

RT’s deputy editor-in-chief, Anna Belkina, said Ofcom’s decision to suspend the broadcaster’s UK licence has “robbed” the British public of access to information.

In a statement, she said: “By ignoring RT’s completely clean record of four consecutive years and stating purely political reasons tied directly to the situation in Ukraine and yet completely un-associated to RT’s operations, structure, management or editorial output, Ofcom has falsely judged RT to not be ‘fit and proper’ and in doing so robbed the UK public of access to information.”

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