RT is facing further scrutiny from the European broadcasting community in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian state network has been banned in Poland and Germany, with the UK and France still considering action.
French reporter Frédéric Taddeï also announced the cessation of his daily talk show on the channel “out of loyalty for France.”
However some experts are warning of the limits of political intervention. Věra Jourová, European Commission VP for values and transparency, told POLITICO: “It is up to independent national media regulators… We all rely on the extra vigilance of regulators and coordinated action.”
She called for a broader examination of Russian propaganda that focuses not solely on RT. “The Kremlin has weaponised information,” she said. “Disinformation is part of Russia military doctrine and so is running of foreign influence operations.”
Nathalie Loiseau MEP also opposed an outright ban, arguing: “Banning these media outlets means closing the Russian space to ours and cutting the Russian people [off] from objective international information. Is that the right solution?”
The POLITICO report added that the centre-right chairman of the French Senate’s culture committee, Laurent Lafon, officially asked the national audiovisual regulator Arcom to ban RT.
Lafon told Arcom that the Russian government’s “propaganda actions are now relayed daily in France by the Russia Today channel and website without real contradiction.” The broadcaster neglects its legal obligations to ensure pluralism of opinions, he added; no platform is given to the Russian opposition nor to the Russian people to voice their opinions of Putin’s actions.
An Arcom spokesperson responded: “If it considers it justified, the regulator will not hesitate to use, without delay, the legal tools at its disposal, which can go as far as requesting the suspension of its broadcasting.”