Russian television warned not to play on the language issue


The National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council has informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of possible consequences for those foreign television channels which play on language issues or the subject of Russian – Ukrainian relations.

The statement posted on the Council’s official website has the heading “Freedom of speech and irresponsibility are incompatible” and quotes their letter to the Ministry:

“In connection with the National Council’s insistence on adaptation of foreign television programmes as envisaged by current legislation, some representatives of the Ukrainian television industry, providers of programme services, have launched a real campaign for misinforming the public, exacerbating political confrontation and social pressure, using the language issue. With the active help of some Russian television channels absurd statements are being spread claiming that the National Council is demanding that Russian TV companies broadcasting their programmes through Ukrainian cable networks to translate their programmes into Ukrainian.

Making capital out of the language issue has become almost the main regular them on some Russian media outlets. This is particularly true of RTR Planeta. Unchecked and tendentious information, often openly aimed at provocation, has become the norm on this channel.

The National Council states with full responsibility that the language of television programmes has never been the reason for refusing providers the right to broadcast Russian channels on Ukrainian territory. Indicative is the fact that of 45 foreign programmes which the National Council considers adapted to Ukrainian legal requirements and recommends for inclusion on Ukrainian cable networks, 37 are in Russian. We are grateful to these foreign television channels for enriching the information realm of our country.

At the same time the National Council informs that should the misinformation of views continues, with playing on subjects which provoke political conflict and damage good neighbourly relations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, the National Council will be forced to consider whether the presence of such foreign television channels on Ukraine’s television network is justified.”

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