Russia kicks CBC out of Moscow

Russia is forcing the Moscow bureau of Canadian national broadcaster CBC to close, the country’s foreign ministry has announced.

The Russian government will also withdraw the visas and accreditation of CBC’s journalists.

The move comes after the Canadian government in Ottowa banned Kremlin-backed RT from the airwaves in the North American country in March. At the time it said that RT is “not consistent with Canadian broadcasting standards.”

Russia has not pretended that kicking out CBC is anything other than a way of getting back at the Canadians. 

Speaking to reporters, Maria Zakharova, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, said: “A decision has been taken to make retaliatory, I underscore retaliatory, measures in relation to the actions of Canada: the closure of the Moscow bureau of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, including the nullification of the accreditations and visas of their journalists.

“With regret we continue to notice open attacks on the Russian media from the countries of the so-called collective West who call themselves civilised.”

Canada and its prime minister Justin Trudeau have been vocal supporters of Ukraine as it continues to be invaded by its neighbours to the east. Trudeau said: “Putin’s decision to expel Canadian media from Moscow is an attempt to silence them from reporting the facts, and it is unacceptable.”

In response to the news, Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs at CBC, said: “To our knowledge, this is the first time in the history of CBC/Radio-Canada that a foreign government has forced the closure of one of our bureaus. This appears to be another step by Russia to stifle a free and independent press within its borders.”

Canada has this week introduced a bill that will ban Russian president Vladmir Putin and around 1,000 members of his government and military from entering the country.

Tags: CBC, Russia

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