RIGA, 4 Mar – RIA Novosti. The fine of 16 thousand euros, which was imposed by the National Council on Electronic Media on the First Baltic Channel (a relay of the Russian First Channel in the Baltic countries) due to the statements about the coronavirus made in the programs, is of a political nature, the co-chairman of the Russian Union of Latvia party told RIA Novosti , ex-member of the European Parliament Miroslav Mitrofanov.
The National Council for Electronic Media of Latvia fined the First Baltic Channel (PBK), considering that the programs “Health” and “Live Healthy” sounded information that minimized the danger of coronavirus, Sputnik Latvia reported, citing a press release from the National Council.
PBK's rebroadcasting in Latvia has stopped since February 1, along with other major Russian TV channels – NTV Mir, Ren TV Baltiya, Kinokomediya and Kinomix. Instead of the listed channels, viewers will be offered others.
“If it were not the PBK and not the Latvian authorities, then misinformation about the epidemic should be really punished. But in our Latvian reality this punishment here and now has a clearly expressed political character and is aimed at the final destruction of PBK. This is another link in the chain of strikes against the main Russian-language TV channel in Latvia, “Mitrofanov said.
According to him, in order to fight disinformation it is necessary not to punish the media, but to support them.
“And if we talk about the authorities' concern with disinformation on the pandemic, then this concern is nothing more than hypocrisy. Instead of destroying PBK, it was necessary, on the contrary, during the crisis to support the channel with state gas for programs that would objectively explain the government's measures. in the Russian language in television space, it was in the Russian environment in Latvia that the wildest rumors spread. The sleep of reason gives rise to monsters, “said Mitrofanov.
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.”