MOSCOW: Russia’s broadcasting watchdog on Friday said it was probing the BBC in retaliation after the British regulator said Kremlin-funded RT television broke broadcasting standards.
The Roskomnadzor watchdog said it is “starting control measures” into the compliance with Russian law of BBC World News, an international channel available in Russia, and the BBC’s websites.
The BBC’s Russian-language service is online only.
Roskomnadzor said the checks were “due to the situation over the issuing of a decision by the British regulator on violations by RT channel.”
Britain’s Ofcom regulator said Thursday it had found violations of impartiality rules in seven of RT’s shows broadcast after the Salisbury nerve agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
“We have told RT that we are minded to consider imposing a statutory sanction,” Ofcom said. “The broadcaster now has an opportunity to make representations to us, which we will consider before proceeding further.”
RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan criticised Britain’s claims of violations as “drivel” on Twitter on Friday.
“Yesterday the British media watchdog rolled out SEVEN warnings against us, absolutely out of the blue. And they made it clear to us that they will take away our licence,” she wrote.
She said that in her view Roskomnadzor will have to use a microscope to find an alternative point of view on the BBC.