Friday. 01.12.2023

Russia is banning German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, closing its Moscow bureau and revoking the accreditation of its journalists, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said on Thursday.

Moscow's move is retaliation for a German regulator's ruling on Wednesday that blocked broadcasts of Russian TV channel RT DE.

The Kremlin blasted the order as "nothing less than an attack on freedom of speech."

The Commission for Licensing and Supervision (ZAK), which is responsible for regulating media outlets in Germany, had banned the German language RT DE channel from broadcasting in the country, citing its lack of a broadcasting licence.

RT - formerly Russia Today - broadcasts internationally in six languages and claims that its German-language programming contributes to the diversity of opinion in Europe. Critics meanwhile accuse RT of being a Kremlin mouthpiece used to disseminate propaganda and disinformation.

Deutsche Welle, or DW, is a German state-owned 24-hour news channel funded by the federal tax budget. It airs programming in German, English, Spanish and Arabic.

Russia and Germany engage in mutual bans of TV channels