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EU suspends four Russian media outlets for propaganda, Ukraine war support

The European Council voted Friday to suspend four Russian media outlets in the European Union for spreading propaganda and supporting Russia's war on Ukraine. File Photo by Patrick Seeger/EPA-EFE
The European Council voted Friday to suspend four Russian media outlets in the European Union for spreading propaganda and supporting Russia's war on Ukraine. File Photo by Patrick Seeger/EPA-EFE

May 17 (UPI) -- The European Council Friday voted to suspend four Russian media outlets from broadcasting in the European Union.

It said Voice of Europe, RIA Novosti, Izvestia and Rossiyskaya spread Russian propaganda and support the war of aggression against Ukraine.

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"These media outlets are under the permanent direct or indirect control of the leadership of the Russian Federation, and have been essential and instrumental in bringing forward and supporting Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, and for the destabilization of its neighboring countries," the council said.

The council added that Russia has engaged in a systematic international propaganda campaign of media and information manipulation in an attempt to justify its invasion of Ukraine.

The European Commission said Friday it welcomed the council's vote to suspend the Russian-controlled media outlets "in view of their role supporting and justifying Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine."

The commission said the activities of these Russian media outlets are a "significant and direct threat" to the EU's public order and security.

"The sanctions do not target freedom of opinion," the European Commission statement said. "They include specific safeguards for freedom of expression and journalistic activities. The measures do not prevent the sanctioned outlets and their staff from carrying out other activities in the Union other than broadcasting, such as research and interviews."

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The commission said the suspensions should continue until the Russian aggression against Ukraine ends and the outlets cease to conduct misinformation actions against the EU and member states.

In 2022 the EU sanctioned Russian-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, also for spreading disinformation about Russia's war on Ukraine.

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