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UK's RT Clampdown Could Echo US 'Information War' Against Russia

© Sputnik / Evgeny Biyatov / Go to the mediabankAn RT newsroom during a live program in English. file photo
An RT newsroom during a live program in English. file photo - Sputnik International
The blocking of RT UK's bank accounts indicates that an information war does exist and that the United States could be behind the move, Claude Chollet, head of the Paris-based media watchdog OJIM, told Sputnik.

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In an interview with Sputnik, Claude Chollet, head of the Paris-based media watchdog OJIM, did not rule out that the United States may be behind the blocking of RT UK's bank accounts, which Chollet said indicates that an information war does exist.

The interview came as Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said on Monday that RT's accounts have been blocked in Britain.

According to RT UK, National Westminster Bank said its parent organization Royal Bank of Scotland Group would refuse to service the broadcaster and was "not prepared to enter into any discussion."

Speaking to Sputnik, Claude Chollet said that he was "extremely surprised" about the blocking of RT UK's bank accounts, which he said would "paralyze the work" of the broadcaster.

According to him, it is nothing but "an economic verdict" against RT's work in the UK.

"My second reaction [to the news], after a moment's reflection, was a thought that an information war does exist and in the current confrontation, we see the US's involvement rather than that of the UK,"Chollet said.

"This also means that the US feels that it has an exclusive right to broadcast news all over the world through its network of agencies or through CNN, which has long become the mouthpiece of the State Department," he speculated.

Separately, he touched upon information attacks on Sputnik, which he attributed to the fact that Sputnik expresses a point of view which Chollet said differs "from the lie we read in the mainstream media," including information on Syria.

The other aspect is related to the accusations that Russia plans to influence the upcoming presidential elections in the US through relevant WikiLeaks revelations.

"I think that the US elections will be an important component of [the West] tightening screws on Russia in the coming months," Chollet concluded.

Meanwhile, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) has turned to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) of the United Kingdom and Ireland and other international organizations over the UK decision to block the accounts of the broadcaster.

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RUJ Executive Secretary Nadezhda Azhgihina expressed hope that this situation would be addressed and dealt with by the professional community. She also reiterated her hopes that RT could continue to work in the United Kingdom.

Earlier in the day, RUJ Secretary Timur Shafir said that such politically-motivated decisions were hardly compatible with constant claims about a commitment to principles of democracy, such as freedom of speech and independent work.

RT operates a number of cable and satellite television channels in several languages and is directed at a foreign audience. The channels provide 24-hour news coverage, and air documentaries, talk shows and debates.

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