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Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3599, tabled on 10 December 2014

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to discuss with the government of Russia the issues of freedom of expression and variety of opinions in the media there, in the light of the proposed closure of the last independent television station in that country.

Answered on

22 December 2014

A law banning commercial advertising on paid cable and satellite television channels in Russia will come into force on 1 January 2015. Commentators have suggested that this law will make it difficult for independent television station, Dozhd, to survive. Increasing pressure on independent journalists and news outlets in Russia, including Dozhd, is of great concern. We regularly make our concerns clear in bilateral interactions at all levels. Most recently, I raised concerns about restrictions on the freedom of expression in Russia with the Russian Ambassador on 25 November. In October, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr Lidington) also raised concerns about this issue with the Russian Ambassador, highlighting the negative impact of restrictive legislation on the freedom of the media.