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Dutch website the Moscow Times declared ‘undesirable’ in Russia

The outlet is among the foreign-funded NGOs working to discredit the government, prosecutors have claimed

The Moscow Times, a Dutch-based news outlet that originated as a newspaper for English-speakers in the Russian capital, has been designated ‘undesirable’ in Russia.

The decision was announced on Wednesday by the office of the Russian prosecutor general, who has the authority to blacklist foreign NGOs. ‘Undesirable’ organizations are banned from conducting most operations in the country, including publishing news.

According to a statement, the news outlet works to “discredit the decisions of the leadership of the Russian Federation domestically and internationally.” Access to the Moscow Times website has already been restricted in Russia “due to systematic publication of articles that included false information of public interest,” including regarding the Ukraine conflict.

The Moscow Times was founded by Dutch media magnate Derk Sauer in 1992. It was originally an ads-funded free newspaper reporting about Russia to English-speakers such as expats and tourists. It went out of print and fully online in 2017, and started reporting in the Russian language in 2020.

The newsroom moved to Amsterdam in 2022 as Western nations and Russia imposed tit-for-tat restrictions on each other’s media following the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict. The Moscow Times claimed its journalists would be subject to persecution, should they remain in Russia.


READ MORE: Russia retaliates against EU’s latest media ban

In its current form, the outlet was described by Russian prosecutors as part of an ecosystem of foreign-funded and foreign-based NGOs hostile to Moscow. One of its key media partners, the statement stressed, is Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a news conglomerate directly funded by the American government, and which has been designated undesirable in Russia.

Last month, Moscow banned dozens of foreign news organizations from broadcasting in Russia, in retaliation for similar restrictions imposed by the EU targeting Russian media.

July 11, 2024 at 01:24PM
RT

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