“Hypocritical masks ripped off”: Embassy in Latvia denounces revocation of license for television channel – world
RIGA, October 22. / TASS /. The Russian Embassy in Latvia criticized the decision of the National Council for Electronic Mass Media (NEPLP) to revoke the broadcasting license of the Baltic First Channel.
“The hypocritical masks of ‘pseudo-freedom of expression’ have been torn off, the National Council for Electronic Media of Latvia once again showed its true colors by revoking, on October 26, the license of First Baltic Channel, the channel most popular television station among Russian-speaking residents of the country who, amid the COVID-19 pandemic raging in the country, have prepared a series of vaccination programs, responding to a recent call from the Latvian authorities to raise awareness local to this extremely important and urgent problem, including in Russian, the mother tongue of many inhabitants of the Republic of Latvia, ”the embassy statement said on its Facebook page.
Latvia’s First Baltic TV Channel was established to broadcast Russia’s First Channel in the Baltic States. On October 21, NEPLP announced that it had revoked the channel’s broadcasting license. The regulator rationalized the decision by saying that “during the year, three significant violations of the law on electronic media were discovered in the operations of First Baltic Channel”. TV channel representative Vyacheslav Stepanenko told a TASS correspondent on Thursday that the TV channel had not yet received the NEPLP decision.
Last February, the state security services of Latvia reported that they had carried out jointly with the Estonian security police several searches of the premises of the company Baltijas mediju alianse in Riga and its suburbs as well as in Tallinn. . They were linked to a possible violation of international sanctions, documents and data storage devices were seized as a result. Later, the media holding company announced that from the end of March, First Baltic Channel would cease production and transmission of news programs and other original broadcasts in Latvia and Estonia, including the daily newscast Latviyskoye Vremya. .
As of February 1, the Latvian telecommunications company Tet has ceased broadcasting Russian TV channels First Baltic Channel, NTV-World, Ren TV Baltiya, Kinokomediya and Kinomiks. This decision was motivated by concerns about a possible violation of sanctions. The company pointed out that these TV channels in Latvia were distributed by TEM LV, one of the companies of the Baltijas mediju alianse media holding company, which had previously been accused of violating international sanctions.