The National Electronic Mass Media Council of Latvia or NEPLP has restricted the Russian television channel RTR-Russia from broadcasting in the country for three months. As Latvian news agency Leta reports, Latvian authorities found incitement to hatred toward Ukrainians was found in their programs.
The agency found hate speech against the Ukrainian government in the program “Evening with Vladimir Solovyov” dated May 22. In the program “60 Minutes” aired on January 11, 2018, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky called for war with Ukraine. NEPLP officials believe that these programs were inciting hatred against citizens of Ukraine.
NEPLP emphasized that they had notified the European Union and Sweden about the violation of broadcasting laws. Leta also noted that RTR-Russia which broadcasts in in Latvia is registered in Sweden.
Commenting on the decision to restrict broadcasting, the agency responded that it considers the broadcasting of the Russian channel in Latvia to be part of the Kremlin’s hybrid war and banning the broadcasts is a signal to unfriendly countries that Latvia protects its information space.
The Council emphasized that the purpose of the restriction on RTR-Russia is to motivate the channel to comply with Latvian laws.