RIGA, 9 Feb – RIA Novosti. Former Minister of Education and Science of Latvia Vyacheslav Dombrovsky criticized the decision of the Council for Electronic Media to ban retransmission of 16 Russian TV channels in the country.
The Latvian National Council for Electronic Media (NEPLP) on Tuesday decided to ban the retransmission of 16 more Russian-language TV channels in the country, including REN TV Baltic and NTV Mir Baltic.
“Why, under various pretexts, stop broadcasting Russian channels? It's hard for me to believe the official version. It's too purposeful. The reasons are too different. Plus, the legislation is being specially changed, with a very clear aim,” Dombrovsky wrote on Facebook.
He believes that in democratic countries, freedom of speech is respected, and such prohibitions are unacceptable.
“At first glance, all this seems meaningless. In a democratic country? Respecting freedom of speech? The “Latvian” party has never been seriously interested in. The persecution of Russian TV channels is part of the cognitive dissonance. At the state level. After all, on the one hand, the belief is maintained that everything is fine with democracy in the country, and there is no political discrimination, especially on an ethnic basis. On the other hand, for almost 30 years now, the ethnic portrait of a member of the ruling coalition has remained unchanged – almost 100% ethnically Latvian. How is this possible in a country where 40% of the population is ethnically non-Latvian ?! Cognitive dissonance, “wrote Dombrovsky.
He also noted that they are trying to hang a label on Russian-speaking residents of Latvia in order to justify actions that violate democratic norms.
“How can I convince myself (and the rest of the world) that the red lines have nothing to do with ethnicity? What is this just a coincidence? For many years there has been a struggle with the” aftermath of the occupation. “For the past six years, a new reason for the” red lines “has been told. According to the new line, Russian-speaking Latvia is “Putinists”, and the “zombie” by Russian television is to blame for this. Therefore, to save Latvian Russians, it is necessary to turn off Russian television, “the ex-minister wrote.
On Monday, the National Council on Electronic Media of Latvia decided to ban the retransmission of the Russia-RTR TV channel in the republic for a year. Earlier, the Latvian cable operator Tet announced that it would stop rebroadcasting the largest Russian TV channels – PBK (a repeater of Channel One programs in the Baltic countries), NTV Mir, Ren TV Baltiya, Kinokomediya and Kinomix. The rebroadcast has stopped since February 1. Instead of the listed channels, viewers will be offered others, the company announced that it is also continuing to search for channels that can be added to the package.
The authorities of the Baltic countries have repeatedly obstructed the work of the Russian media. The Russian Foreign Ministry announced clear signs of a coordinated line of these states. Cases of harassment of the media in the Baltic states, the Russian ministry noted, “clearly demonstrate what demagogic statements about the adherence of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn to the principles of democracy and freedom of speech are worth in practice.”