Russia shuts down DW after RT DE broadcasting ban

Deutsche Welle (DW) has been banned from broadcasting in Russia. Its offices in the country are also to be closed and accreditations withdrawn. The ban is widely seen as a countermeasure after Germany's Commission on Licensing and Supervision (ZAK) of media institutions said this week that the Russian television station RT DE could no longer broadcast in Germany using a Serbian broadcasting licence.

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Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Retaliation without a cause

The DW closure is not at all comparable with the broadcasting ban on RT DE, explains the Süddeutsche Zeitung:

“The ZAK banned RT DE from broadcasting because it requires a media licence, but RT DE never applied for one. Its journalists are nevertheless allowed to continue working here and to go on asking questions that are inconvenient for German society and the federal government. The closure of the DW office in Moscow was ordered for political reasons and announced by the Foreign Ministry. Questions about it? Unwelcome.”

Ria Nowosti (RU) /

Baerbock misjudged the situation

Ria Novosti says Germany shouldn't act so surprised and outraged:

“This was not a disloyal surprise attack. When German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited Moscow on 18 January, she was told that Germany's measures would be mirrored: Whatever you do with RT DE we will do with DW. To avert this, she was given two weeks, after which Moscow made good on its promise. ... The art of being a diplomat is to assess the seriousness of the concern expressed by the counterpart and his readiness to take decisive steps. It is one thing to take an unbending stance in the face of clear warnings. But it is quite another to misjudge the level of concern of your counterpart.”