French satellite operator Eutelsat has refused to stop Russia from using satellites it controls to broadcast state-run programming into the country.
“It’s not normal that a French satellite is used for a propaganda war,” says André Lange one half of the Denis Diderot Committee. If their proposals are adopted, “it would be a bomb going off in the Russian media world,” says Jim Phillipoff, a former satellite TV executive and ex-Kyiv Post CEO. He’s the other half of the Diderot Committee. “If the European authorities impose new sanctions against Russian channels, we will stop their broadcast,” Eutelsat said. It added: “At this stage, no regulator or other competent authority has asked us to stop broadcasting private Russian television channels in Russia.”
- Phillipoff and Lange have been turning their appeal to politicians, but with minimal effect. “We sent letters to all French members of the European Parliament,” Lange says. “Not a single answer.”
- Politico has reported that those three broadcasters are Russian-language news networks that reach Europe, with some help from Eutelsat’s satellites.
- Meanwhile, some two dozen countries make up the Moscow-based Intersputnik consortium, primarily in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Its members include the Czech Republic, Romania, Germany, and Ukraine. In 2020, France announced its intention to join Intersputnik.
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