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German media authorities say RT DE does not have proper licence

By Reuters

BERLIN – German media authorities said on Friday that they have initiated proceedings against Russian broadcaster RT’s German-language branch for operating in the country without the proper licence.

Eva Flecken, director of the MABB media authority in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg, said RT DE had not applied for nor received a broadcasting licence from MABB.

RT DE, which has until the end of the year to respond to the proceedings, said on its website that it had been granted a licence for cable and satellite transmissions in Serbia, which under the ECTT (European Convention on Transfrontier Television) convention allows it to broadcast in Germany.

Flecken said that based on the MABB’s preliminary assessment, however, such a licence was not sufficient.

RT said its new channel ‘RT auf Sendung’ was blocked on Thursday, just five hours after its launch, prompting Russia’s communications regulator to write to Google’s management team urging it to restore access.