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Sputnik Editor-in-Chief: EU Resolution to Counter Russian Media Was Anticipated

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The European Parliament's resolution to counter Russian media outlets was expected in advance and it is only the first step the European establishment may take, Sputnik news agency's Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said Wednesday.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square in Moscow. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution on countering Russian media outlets, such as the Sputnik news agency and the RT broadcaster. Out of 691 lawmakers taking part in the vote, 304 voted in favor of the resolution, 179 voted against it, and 208 abstained. Therefore, less than half of the lawmakers supported the resolution.

"This decision has been anticipated, we prepared letters beforehand this week to all the institutions, protecting press freedom and the right of journalists to do their job. They were kept signed in my cabinet, and we thought, if it was to happen, these letters would be sent throughout the world," Simonyan told reporters.

Simonyan noted that the resolution was only a recommendation, but "further steps" were to be expected.

"I do not understand whom it would affect more, us or the European establishment, which may so easily for some odd, irrelevant, irrational fears betray their own principles, at least the principle of freedom of speech," Simonyan said.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, commenting on the adoption of the European Parliament’s resolution on Russian media, congratulated RT and Sputnik journalists on effective work and stressed that this resolution indicated apparent degradation of the concept of democracy in the Western society. Putin also expressed hope that common sense would prevail and that there would be no actual restrictions against the Russian media.

Sputnik news agency has addressed international organizations, including the United Nations, UNESCO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and Reporters Without Borders to seek support against restrictions to media freedom in the European Union, aimed at halting the operations of Russian media outlets such as Sputnik and RT in Europe.

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