“Freedom of speech is not a reason to circumvent sanctions”

Regarding Lavrov’s scandalous interview, EC spokesman Johannes Barke said: “The media cannot invoke freedom of speech in order to circumvent sanctions.”

Disturbance about the words Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s talk about Hitler’s “Jewish roots” continues, and not only because of the content of his conversation with Italian journalists.

An indignant reaction followed the very fact of the appearance of Sergei Lavrov, the European Commission indirectly called this a violation of the restrictions imposed on the Russian Federation. Although some European journalists have a different opinion: they believe that the very decision to ban the broadcasting of Russian media is controversial. Ricardo Gutierrez, Secretary General of the European Federation of Journalists, says:

“The problem is that this decision was made and implemented by governments. But the principles of European law do not give governments the right to ban the media, including propaganda. In liberal democracies, the right to allow broadcasting or cancel it is exercised by independent bodies, independent regulators.”

However, Brussels does not agree. They note that under normal conditions this would indeed be the case, but the current political situation cannot be called normal. Alberto Alemano of Jean Monnet University explains:

“In the current specific circumstances, the EU relies on its own system of common foreign policy, which allows it to interrupt or reduce, in part or in whole, any economic or financial ties with one or more third countries.”

Nevertheless, the blocked media in any case have the right to challenge the decision: for example, the French edition of RT has already done so, reports euronews.

As reported by our publication, according to press freedom index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in 2022, Greece has dropped 38 places over the past year. From 70th position in the 2021 report, Greece ranked 108th in 2022.

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