CNN International decides to go off-air in Russia before New Year

CNN International decides to go off-air in Russia before New Year
CNN International will stop broadcasting in Russia before December 31, according to a letter the channel’s managing company distributed to Russian cable operators.

The letter from Turner Broadcasting System Europe obtained by TASS and Vedomosti newspaper did not state the reasons for the move.

General Director at Turner Broadcasting System Russia Tatyana Kalita declined to comment on the issue, TASS reported.

The representative of the company has explained that the move comes amid recent amendments in Russia’s law concerning mass media.

"Turner International is exploring options for the distribution of CNN in Russia in the light of recent amendments in Russian legislation concerning mass media. Amid this process, we are ending our current broadcasting agreements. We hope to return to the Russian market and will keep partners informed about our plans,” a Turner representative told TASS.

He stressed that the activities of the CNN bureau in Moscow will not be affected.

Meanwhile Russia’s federal media watchdog Roskomnadzor denied it has anything to do with CNN International’s plans to stop broadcasting in Russia.

CNN shareholders should be asked about the reasons behind the stop of broadcast,” a representative of the Roskomnadzor Vadim Ampelonsky told TASS. The news agency also cited a source familiar with the business of the news network in Russia saying that the reasons for pulling out were commercial.

Representatives of major Russian cable operators VimpelCom and AKADO have confirmed they received the letter, Vedomosti reports.

Cable News Network (CNN) was created in the United States in 1980 by Ted Turner and was the first channel to begin broadcasting 24/7. CNN International was launched in 1985 and following the collapse of the Soviet Union began broadcasting in Russia at the beginning of the 1990s.