EBU urges Latvian government to reconsider ban on Russian language content

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has urged the Latvia’s government to not enforce the recently signed government policy to ban all Russian language content on Latvian public service media by 2026.

On September 28, the Latvian parliament approved the government-backed policy, ‘National Security Concept’, that states that all ‘content created by public media must only be in Latvian and languages belonging to the European cultural space’ from January 1 2026. The move would essentially prohibit Latvian TV and Latvian Radio from continuing to produce content in Russian.

A statement by the EBU reads, “We are concerned that this new proposal will mean Russian speakers in Latvia will no longer have regular access to credible and fact-checked information, leaving them exposed to disinformation, fake news, and propaganda.

“The ability of public service media to provide vital information and connect with all of society is especially critical in light of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Our organisations call on the Latvian government to reconsider their proposal and launch an open debate in the interests of safeguarding media freedom,” they added.

The body shared it concerns on the government proposal in a letter, also signed by the European Federation of Journalists, International Federation of Journalists, Justice for Journalists Foundation, South East Europe Media Organisation, Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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