By Jonathan Easton
US lawmakers have moved to ban Kremlin-backed broadcasters in the country.
As part of wide scale sanctions against the country amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the US has sanctioned Channel One, Rossiya-1 and NTV. These channels are either directly controlled by the Russian government, or are owned and operated by business people closely tied to president Vladmir Putin.
The sanctions will outlaw American companies from doing business with these broadcasters, with a spokesperson for the White House noting that Western companies spent “well over US$300 million” on advertising across the channels.
The spokesperson noted: “A lot of these advertisers have announced since the invasion that they’re going to cut their business activity with these stations, but we want to make sure that decision endures and just send a broader signal that US companies should not be in the business of funding Russian propaganda.”
They also pointed out that many Russian TV stations rely on Western technology to “broadcast the propaganda” and that “Russia can try to produce these components domestically but the idea here is to make that commercially difficult, unprofitable, [and to] put more of the burden on the Russian state.”
The sanctions, which were announced as president Joe Biden met virtually with G7 leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, also targeted 27 Gazprombank executives “to create a chilling effect,” and show “that Gazprombank is not a safe haven”.
The news comes after the European Union took similar steps to ban business with a trio of Russian broadcasters while banning their broadcast across the EU 27.