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EU Bans RT, Sputnik For Systematic Disinformation

 |  March 2, 2022

Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik will be banned in the European Union with immediate effect for systematic disinformation over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the 27-country bloc said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

The decision to impose sanctions means EU operators will be prohibited from broadcasting, facilitating or otherwise contributing to the dissemination of any RT and Sputnik content. The move seriously limits Russian media’s reach in Europe and across the world, and is an unprecedented escalation in the information and propaganda ‘wars’ that have been made all the more prominent by the rise of social media, and the international communities it has allowed to grow.

Broadcasting licences or authorization, transmission and distribution arrangements between the two companies and their EU counterparts will also be suspended, the announcement said, possibly having negative effects for Western media companies as well.

The ban applies to RT’s English unit and operations in Britain, Germany, France, and Spain. The large international reach of these countries (extending across the anglo, francophone, and Spanish-speaking world) is also likely to boost the effects of the ban in limiting the reach of Russian media’s alleged disinformation campaign against Ukraine and its supporters.

“Systematic information manipulation and disinformation by the Kremlin is applied as an operational tool in its assault on Ukraine,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement. “It is also a significant and direct threat to the Union’s public order and security.”

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