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RT DE Turns to Berlin Court to Overturn Decision on Broadcast Ban in Germany

© Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev / Go to the mediabankRT (Russia Today)
RT (Russia Today)  - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.02.2022
Last week, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin is concerned about the situation regarding the ban of RT DE in Germany and that Moscow sees it as an infringement upon freedom of speech.
RT DE has filed a lawsuit with a Berlin court demanding to strike down a decision by the nation's regulator to block RT DE in Germany.
The German media regulator MABB earlier officially banned broadcasts by RT DE in Germany, claiming that the channel's organisers did not have the necessary permission. RT DE's operations in Germany have been terminated across all platforms, including internet, mobile apps, smart TV applications, and satellites.
"MABB claims that RT DE Productions is responsible for broadcasting the RT DE channel, ignoring the fact that the channel's broadcasts are fulfilled by ANO [Autonomous Non-Commercial Organisation] TV-Novosti from Moscow", RT DE Productions GmbH said in a statement.
"The speculations expressed by MABB are not related to reality. We emphasised that RT DE Productions provides services to ANO TV-Novosti solely as a content producer, and also clearly showed that we are in no way responsible for RT DE broadcasting. We expect the Administrative Court of Berlin to reverse the wrongful decision by MABB", the statement stressed.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov last week described the ban as an infringement upon freedom of speech. "The situation is absolutely obvious. Russian media [outlets], rather international media, are banned from broadcasting in Germany. We can only regret this", he added.
RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, in turn, called the ban "pure nonsense", adding that the channel will not stop broadcasting.
"The company [RT DE Productions] produces several programmes for the RT DE TV channel, which broadcasts from Moscow and has full broadcast rights in Germany and 32 other European countries. This is pure nonsense. We will not stop broadcasting", Simonyan wrote on her Telegram channel last week.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, for her part, promised last week that Moscow would announce retaliatory measures against German media outlets. It was followed by the Russian Foreign Ministry's announcement that Moscow is shutting down Deutsche Welle in Russia.
"The correspondent's office of the German television and radio company Deutsche Welle in the Russian Federation has been closed", the ministry said, adding that all employees of Deutsche Welle's Russian bureau will lose their accreditation. Moscow will also draw up a list of officials involved in blocking RT DE who will be barred from entering Russia, the ministry said.
The developments followed RT DE in August 2021 being refused a broadcasting license in Luxembourg after reportedly receiving a recommendation from the German authorities. In September, YouTube removed two RT DE channels without the right of recovery for alleged "violations of community rules".
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