Eutelsat confirms Russian suspensionsDECEMBER 22, 2022 10.13 EUROPE/LONDON BY JULIAN CLOVER
Eutelsat Communications has confirmed it will impose “restrictive measures” on Russian broadcasters “as soon as possible”.
Following a decision by the French Regulatory Authority for Audiovisual and Digital Communication (ARCOM), Eutelsat says its ended all involvement in the broadcast of three channels, Rossiya One, Pervyi Kanal and NTV within the seven days required by the regulator.
A fourth channel, RenTV, will also be subject to sanctions if a decision is backed by the Council of the European Union on February 1, 2023.
Eutelsat has also ensured that it is not involved in the broadcasting of RT News in Russia.
At the same time, the satellite operator that was initially reluctant to remove the channels has admitted it could now face an impact of between 10 and 15 million Euros.
In an initial response to Eutelsat’s statement, the Denis Diderot Committee, which has campaigned for the removal of Russian channels on Eutelsat, has welcome these first steps but also said it is not sure it answers all the concerns about the correct implementation of ARCOM’s decision and EU sanctions.
It does not say anything on the implementation related to the sanctions against Russian media entities (VGTRK, National Media Group, ANO-TV Novosti, Russian Armed Forces) adopted by the EU on December 16.
It does not say anything on the issue of the leasing of capacities on the three Russian satellites.
It does not say anything on the fact that Rossiya 24 is still broadcast on the Eutelsat 36B for South Africa and on the Eutelsat 36C for Russia and occupied territories of Ukraine.
As a result, the Denis Diderot Committee has written to David Bertolotti, General Secretary of Eutelsat, to ask for a meeting to check the scope of the sanctions as described in the present note and to discuss the possibilities of using the 36B to provide alternative channels to the Russian population.