EU bans Russian Arabic services

IRIS 2023-3:1/2

Amélie Lacourt

European Audiovisual Observatory

On 25 February 2023, the Council of the European Union adopted its tenth package of sanctions against Russia since the beginning of the war against Ukraine.

This package contains a number of additional measures and sanctions, including:

- the addition of 87 individuals and 34 entities to the sanction list, who, in support of the war, spread propaganda, deliver drones used by Russia in the war or publish disinformation,

- tighter EU export bans and restrictions on sensitive dual-use and advanced technologies that contribute to Russia's military capabilities and technological enhancement,

- the freezing of Russian banks assets.

In particular, the EU imposed an additional ban on two Russian media outlets, namely RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik services broadcast in Arabic. According to the Commission, both outlets are state-owned and/or under the Kremlin's influence and disseminate disinformation and war propaganda of the sanctioned regime, therefore aiding Russia's war efforts. This decision follows the previous suspension of Russian media outlets on 1 March 2022 and 6 June 2022.

According to Lyngsat, a number of satellites recently ceased to broadcast RT’s Arabic channel.


This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.