Disinfo: High rating given to Estonia by “Reporters without borders” is fiction

Summary

Such a situation is unacceptable in the European country. There is no freedom of speech in Estonia. Those high ratings given to them by “Reporters without borders” (RSF) are fictions.

Disproof

One of the methods of Kremlin disinformation is to deny the authority of international organisations and independent agencies and question their missions. Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), is a leading international non-profit and non-governmental organisation that safeguards the right to freedom of information. Its mandate is to promote free, independent and pluralistic journalism and to defend media workers.

In Estonia, Sputnik is represented as a victim of unprecedented persecution. This kind of statements were debunked several times (read more here). The steps taken by Estonia are based on the Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine that foresees freezing the assets of Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossija Segodnya.

As for the freedom of speech, Estonia is indeed on the 11th place of Reporters without Borders Press freedom index. It's important to note that Estonia has not blocked Sputnik Estonia's website, as it is accessible and operational. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu has emphasized that Estonia has not taken any measures against the portal's media content: "They are financial sanctions aimed at economic activity. I believe it to be justified. We have notified the European Commission's Legal Service. European agencies have said in the Commission that steps taken by Estonia in exercising sanctions policy are warranted."

Sputnik was created by a Presidential decree with the aim to “report on the state policy of Russia abroad”. Numerous reports have described how top managers from all the large government-controlled outlets and some influential private media attend the weekly meetings where "media managers receive guidelines that “help” them not to overstep the Kremlin’s so-called “double white lines”".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue186
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Estonia
  • Keywords: Freedom of speech, Europe, Sputnik

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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