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Russia: RT UK bank closure is 'gross violation of freedom of speech' - Matviyenko

0 20.10.2016 Инфо

UK bank NatWest's move to close RT UK's bank accounts is a "gross violation of freedom of speech" according to Valentina Matviyenko, Chairwoman of Russia's Federation Council. Speaking on Thursday from the Swiss capital Bern, Valentina Matviyenko added "after all, Russia Today was not charged with anything" and "did not violate British or European law."
Matviyenko, one of Russia's leading politicians, described it as "an obstruction of journalists' work and the opportunity to give a different point of view". She said "they tell the truth, reveal what is going on and call things by their proper names. I think that there should always be different points of view."
The Chairwoman also said the move was motivated by "the popularity of Russia Today" which "apparently caused alarm in some circles of Great Britain." She claimed "the British TV channels say that they had a competitor; they worried for their popularity and the need to increase funding." She concluded with the hope that "European human rights organisations and the same structure of the United Nations will evaluate such actions".
On Monday, RT UK's editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, confirmed that NatWest sent a letter announcing that all its accounts in the UK would be closed. The letter said that the decision was not open for discussion, yet that appears to have changed when the RBS Group, which owns NatWest, said the decision was under review.
Matviyenko was in Bern to attend the 17th Association of European Senates meeting on 'The Role of Parliaments in Combating Terrorism in Europe'.