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Russia’s RT says German-language channel to keep broadcasting despite ban

RT has been accused by Western countries of distributing disinformation and Kremlin-friendly propaganda.

(AFP) — The head of Russian state broadcaster RT on Wednesday said the network's German-language channel will continue broadcasting after a German regulator banned its transmission amid soaring tensions between Moscow and the West.

"This is complete nonsense. We will not stop broadcasting," RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said on Twitter.

She said it was as if Russia's media regulator "banned Deutsche Welle from broadcasting on their own website".

"Worth a try, by the way," Simonyan added. 

Germany's broadcasting regulator on Wednesday announced that it was banning the transmission of the channel "RT DE" over the lack of a broadcasting license. 

The broadcaster was blocked from Europe's satellite network on December 22 at the request of German authorities, less than a week after going on air, but was still available over the internet and via a mobile app.

In response to the earlier decision, RT DE said its suspension was "illegal" and the result of political pressure from Berlin, at a time of diplomatic tensions between Germany and Russia.

Launched in 2005 as "Russia Today", state-funded RT has expanded with broadcasters and websites in languages including English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

It has been accused by Western countries of distributing disinformation and Kremlin-friendly propaganda.

The channel has been banned in several countries, including the ex-Soviet republics of Lithuania and Latvia.

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© Agence France-Presse

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