Four Greek media outlets – Public Broadcaster ERT, MEGA TV, Proto Thema, and Skai – were included among a total of 81 European media organizations Russia announced it was banning access to as a retaliatory action to the EU’s ban on Russian outlets.

In May, the European Union suspended the distribution of Voice of Europe, RIA news agency, and the Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspapers describing the media outlets as four “Kremlin-linked propaganda networks,” stripping them of their broadcasting rights in the bloc.

France’s Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency, Austria’s ORF state TV company, Ireland’s RTE broadcaster, digital outlet Politico, and Spain’s EFE news agency were among the outlets affected by Russia’s move, along with many other national broadcasters and newspapers.

The Russian Foreign Ministry accused the outlets of “systematically distributing inaccurate information” about what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine.

Russia ban – Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy issued the following statement on the ban:

“The EU condemns the totally unfounded decision by the Russian authorities to block access to over eighty European media in Russia.

This decision further restricts access to free and independent information and expands the already severe media censorship in Russia. The banned European media work according to journalistic principles and standards. They give factual information, also to Russian audiences, including on Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine.

In contrast, the Russian disinformation and propaganda outlets, against which the EU has introduced restrictive measures, do not represent a free and independent media. Their broadcasting activities in the EU have been suspended because these outlets are under the control of the Russian authorities and they are instrumental in supporting the war of aggression against Ukraine.

Respect for the freedom of expression and media is a core value for the EU. It will continue supporting availability of factual information also to audiences in Russia.”