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Russian Budget Cuts Lead to Broadcast Limits for Sputnik, RT - Editor-in-Chief

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Russian budget shortages resulted in smaller presence of the Sputnik news agency and the RT broadcaster in some countries, RT and Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said in an interview.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The devaluation of the Russian ruble has resulted in budget shortages and smaller presence of the Sputnik news agency and the RT broadcaster in some countries, RT and Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said in an interview with the RNS information agency.

"The devaluation has significantly affected our work: we are getting funding in rubles, but we spend it in foreign currencies. And then, suddenly, the money dwindled twice in just several months! But the expenditures have remained on the same level. Of course we had to cut back on a lot of things, but we tried not to lose audience, we emerged on some alternative platforms," Simonyan said.

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RT's plans for broadcasting in the French and German languages have been subsequently put on hold, with Sputnik forced to close some of its foreign-language branches and limit the development in some regions, Simonyan added.

"Most importantly, we've lost the great plans that Sputnik had, and they remain unfulfilled for now, while budget restrictions are in place," Simonyan said.

Sputnik is a news agency and a radio with multimedia information hubs in dozens of countries. It includes websites in over 30 languages, analogous and digital radio broadcasting, mobile apps and pages in social networks. The agency’s English, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese news feeds are updated on a 24-hour basis.

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

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