: RFE/RL: Latvia blocks Russian Sputnik site as Kremlin 'propaganda tool'

11:47 Mar. 30, 2016

RFE/RL: Latvia blocks Russian Sputnik site as Kremlin 'propaganda tool'

Russian journalist, head of the new Russian govenment owned international news agency Rossiya Segodnya ('Russia Today') and Deputy Director of Russian State TV Dmitry Kiselyov (Getty Images)

The Russian Embassy in Latvia called the move against Sputnik "groundless" and said that Latvia had started "an information war"

Latvian authorities shut down Russia's pro-Kremlin news site Sputnik on March 29, calling it a "propaganda tool" and drawing an immediate rebuke from Moscow.

Read also EU could launch Russian-language TV channel to counter propaganda

Latvia's local domain registry suspended Sputnik's right to hold the news site Sputniknews.lv, which was established only a few weeks ago to reach out to Latvia's large Russian-speaking minority with articles in Russian and Latvian.

"We don't regard Sputnik as a credible media source but as something else: a propaganda tool," Latvian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raimonds Jansons told AFP.

Read also Lithuania bans Russia's Ren TV for spreading misleading information

 

Russia's Foreign Ministry called the decision "blatant censorship" and insisted "the Russian mass media adheres to the highest standards of professionalism and ethics."

Riga "once again, with the tacit inaction of leading human rights organizations, is ignoring its convention obligations to ensure media pluralism and freedom of speech as it continues to target Russian mass media in Latvia," the ministry said.

Read also 'Britain and Poland will work to fight Russian propaganda': British PM Cameron

Latvia has banned Russian media before, having shut down Russian state television broadcasts for several months in 2014.

The Russian Embassy in Latvia called the move against Sputnik "groundless" and said that Latvia had started "an information war." Full story 

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