RT and Sputnik are prevented from appearing in briefings and some internet software programmes are invented to automatically ban those reports deemed politically unacceptable by the authorities of the country concerned. This is a violation of OSCE obligations regarding direct access to public information […] The Russian authorities have not taken restrictive measures against foreign media.
The situation of the Russian media in the West has become difficult in recent years. The European Parliament has adopted a resolution indicating the need to confront Russian media, where Sputnik and RT were identified as major threats […] The adoption of such a document signals the apparent deterioration of ideas about democracy in Western society.
Recurring disinformation narrative that the Russian media is unfairly restricted, discriminated against in Europe, and that freedom of speech is restricted in certain European Union member states, while presenting Russia as respectful of media freedoms. See previous cases here.
The mentioned European Parliament resolution at no point calls for any restrictive measure in its efforts to counter anti-EU propaganda by third parties. The efforts to counter such propaganda mainly revolve around awareness-raising through campaigns, education, media and information literacy while respecting the commitments to media freedom, access to information, freedom of expression and media pluralism. The European Parliament in this resolution stressed that promoting respect for fundamental rights and freedoms should underpin the EU's action in countering propaganda.
The resolution reads: "It is essential for the EU to continue to actively promote through its external actions respect for fundamental rights and freedoms; considers that supporting freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to access information and the independence of the media in the neighbouring countries should underpin the EU’s actions in counteracting propaganda."
The freest countries in terms of press freedom are predominantly European countries, including Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Estonia, Portugal, Germany, etc.
On the other hand, Russia is ranked as “not free”, according to Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press report. According to Reporters without Borders (RWB) Press Freedom Index, Russia is ranked 149th among 180 countries. 38 journalists have been murdered in Russia since 1993 for preparing investigative materials on corruption, politics and human rights violations. Almost all leading media outlets in the country are controlled by persons affiliated with the authorities or the Kremlin.