Нам закрыли счета в Британии. Все счета. ‘Решение пересмотру не подлежит’. Да здравствует свобода слова!
— Маргарита Симоньян (@M_Simonyan) October 17, 2016
A commercial bank in the United Kingdom has frozen the accounts of the Russian network RT. The Editor in chief of RT (formerly known as “Russia Today”) Margarita Simonyan announced the action taken against her Russian propaganda network on Twitter this morning.
The translation of the tweet via RT’s article on the asset freezing is “Our accounts in Britain have been blocked. All of them. ‘Decision not to be discussed’. Hail to freedom of speech!”
As if the world couldn’t be more upside down, Russian state-run media is claiming their freedom of speech is being violated.
U.S. News and World Report writes that the Russian Foreign Ministry used this as an opportunity to take a shot at Brexit.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted on Facebook: “Looks like, while leaving the EU, London has left all its freedom of speech obligations there.”
RT posted an image of the letter sent to them by National Westminster Bank.
BBC News reports that RT has been at odds in the past with Ofcom, the UK communications regulatory body, for publishing false information.
RT, which is run by the Kremlin, has previously been sanctioned by UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom for biased reporting.
This included claims that the BBC “staged” a chemical weapons attack for a news report on Syria.
The BBC won a case against the TV channel after complaining to Ofcom, saying the allegations made in a programme called The Truthseeker were false and struck “at the heart” of its obligations to accuracy and impartiality.
Ofcom ruled that elements of the programme were “materially misleading”.
Simonyan claims that NatWest has even blocked the personal accounts of some RT employees who work in the UK.
She told Russian state media: “They haven’t explained the reasons and I think they can’t explain them because there can’t be any reasons. We have an absolutely transparent operation there, absolutely transparent funding. There have never been any complaints in this regard at all.
“They have failed to defeat us by simply vilifying us, by picking on our broadcast, so they decided to try the banking flank: ‘Try broadcasting when all your accounts have been closed.’ Yet we will try.”
She left out, “We will bury you.”
RT began operating in 2005 and now has channels in English (including RT America featuring MSNBC alum Ed Schultz), Spanish, and Arabic.
Remember when Mitt Romney was ridiculed by President Obama for saying Russia is our greatest geo-political foe?