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IRIS 2018-1:1/41

Russian Federation

Ukraine and Russia end TV and radio cooperation

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Tobias Raab

Stopp Pick & Kallenborn, Saarbrücken

A cooperation agreement between Russia and Ukraine in the field of television and radio has expired after the Ukrainian government terminated the agreement with the Russian government in November 2016.

The agreement had been signed in Moscow, the Russian capital, in October 2000. It had originally been designed to create legal, organisational and economic conditions favourable to the provision of the broadcasting and distribution of Russian television and radio programmes in Ukraine. In the same way, the agreement made it easier for television and radio content from Ukraine or provided by Ukrainian broadcasters to be broadcast and distributed in the territory of the Russian Federation. For example, it had allowed for the Russian language to be used in Russian programmes shown in Ukraine and vice-versa.

The termination of the cooperation agreement is another sign of the growing alienation between the two countries. The Ukrainian National Assembly, for example, had previously fined a host of Russian broadcasters for breaching their legal obligations to provide information about their ownership structures. As well as the fines of UAH 350,000 (around EUR 11,647), the national assembly had threatened further sanctions against broadcasters who continued to breach their duty to disclose their ownership structure, and said that their broadcasting licences might not be renewed or might even be withdrawn completely.