Britain unfairly singled out RT television channel: Russia

Britain unfairly singled out RT television channel: Russia

In December 2018, Ofcom found RT to have committed several breaches of the U.K.'s broadcasting code during its reporting on the poisoning of former Soviet spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury past year, a poisoning blamed on Russian Federation.

In a statement issued in response to the penalty, Russia's Foreign Ministry threatened "consequences" for British media in Russia, saying the action was part of an anti-Russian campaign aimed at curtailing Russian media activities in Britain.

"We closely follow the developments", the ministry said, adding that the British media operating in Russian Federation should be ready to "face consequences of London's actions". Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.

In the same statement, Russia's foreign ministry complained about Russia-related stories reported by Reuters, the Guardian and the BBC.

Russian broadcaster RT is appealing a hefty fine imposed by the UK's media regulator Ofcom, following a series of reports on the Salisbury poisoning and the Syrian civil war.

Ofcom said RT, formerly known as Russia Today, "failed to preserve due impartiality in seven news and current affairs programs between 17 March and 26 April 2018".

"Taken together, these breaches represented serious and repeated failures of compliance with our rules", said Ofcom.

The broadcaster rejects accusations of being a Russian state propaganda channel and says it presents an alternative - and independent - take on world news.

"It is astonishing that, in contrast, Ofcom sees RT's programmes.as worthy of greater sanction than programmes containing hate speech and incitement to violence". She also called the amount of the fine "particularly inappropriate and disproportionate".

Russia denies involvement despite CCTV footage capturing two men United Kingdom authorities identify as Russian military intelligence officers walking near Skripal's home on the day of the attack.

Both RT and Sputnik are funded by the Russian government.

The Russian network has launched a legal challenge to Ofcom, which has the authority to cancel broadcasting licenses.

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