Move follows French media regulator warning to RT France

The Russian federal agency regulating the mass media and telecommunications, Roskomnadzor, warned French international TV news channel France 24 that it was in violation of a Russian media law for being “under the control of a foreign legal entity”, Russian news agency Tass reported on 29 June. The law limits foreign ownership of media companies in Russia to 20 per cent.

In a letter to the channel Roskomnadzor warned France 24 that it could be stripped of its licence.

A day earlier the French broadcast media regulator CSA had issued a warning to RT’s French-language outlet, RT France, over what it said was a misleading report about a suspected chemical attack in Syria broadcast earlier this year.

RT France said that “the misleading association between the translation and a specific video clip aired on 13 April was the result of a purely technical glitch, which has since been put right.”

The CSA didn’t fine RT France, but it has the authority to do so or to suspend its licence.

Clear retaliation

Roskomnadzor’s threat is seen as being a clear retaliation to the CSA warning, as confirmed by comments made by RT chief editor Margarita Simonyan to Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti. “Russia is a big country, unlike many, we can afford ourselves the luxury of tit-for-tat measures,” Simonyan was quoted saying.