‘European values’? Czech think tank funded by NATO govts calls for EU BLANKET BAN on Russian outlets like RT
At first blush, the ‘Kremlin Watch Strategy’ paper published last week by the Prague-based ‘European Values Center for Security Policy’ sounds like another self-serving attempt to cash in on the anti-Russian hysteria that has gripped many a Western capital for the past several years.
There are some two dozen mentions of “funding,” mostly in the context of urging the European Union to spend more money on “independent” NGOs – such as themselves, obviously – to battle “hostile Russian interference” the authors see under every bed. There is even a proposal for every EU government to conduct its own version of the Mueller probe – which famously found zero evidence of “collusion” between US President Donald Trump and Russia, and its evidence of Russian “meddling” amounted to unsubstantiated assertions from indictments, as its lawyers had to admit in court.Also on rt.com Another nail in Russiagate coffin? Federal judge destroys key Mueller report claim
So far, so laughable, right? Except the NGO argues that all European countries should:
stop legitimising Russian disinformation tools posing as “journalistic platforms”. Communication channels effectively run by the Russian government, be it RT, Sputnik, or Russian state-run TV channels, do not represent journalism, they merely pretend to.
Since ‘Russians’ are not free media, argues ‘European Values,’ the EU countries should “ban them from press conferences and not give access that is granted only to journalists, which they are not.”
This is not the first time that EV has tried to urge a ban and boycott of “Russian” outlets. In fact, it first emerged from obscurity in 2017, when it compiled an (error-riddled) blacklist of 2,327 “useful idiots” who had appeared on RT, in an effort to intimidate others.Also on rt.com NGO publishes names of 2,300+ RT guests, labels them ‘useful idiots who undermine Western democracy’
A mere month later, the same outfit sponsored something called the “Prague Declaration,” which was signed by a who's who of the most prominent Russiagate conspiracy-pushers, along with someone named “Bumfrey McDoogle.”
While it is tempting to dismiss the call for censorship on account that it originates from a low-rent Czech think-tank with an embarrassing history, doing so might be premature. EV gets much of its funding from NATO governments – Dutch, British, German and American, as of 2018. Indeed, they openly admit that London has been “a clear European leader in responding” to the so-called Russin threat, mobilizing the EU “response” and funding “much of the European civil society.”
Could it be mere coincidence that EV’s “new” censorship proposal sounds much like the one formerly peddled by the Institute for Statecraft, a sock-puppet project of the British government that was “burned” at the end of last year, following public exposure??Also on rt.com Was ‘Institute for Statecraft’ behind Ofcom’s targeting of RT? Sleuths point to yes
Far more sinister is that this “recommendation” has already been implemented to some extent. The US government withdrew RT America’s credentials in 2017, after forcing the outlet to register as a “foreign agent.” French President Emmanuel Macron has refused to talk to or accredit RT or Sputnik. The British government canceled RT’s credentials to a press freedom conference in July this year.
In February, Canada refused Sputnik credentials to report from the Lima Group meeting on Venezuela, devoted to US-backed regime change in Caracas. RT Spanish has been taken off air in Ecuador, after reporting on anti-austerity protests – and soon thereafter in Bolivia, by the US-backed unelected government that had violently ousted elected president Evo Morales to praise from Washington.
Last month, Ukrainian activists tried to shout down RT’s head of communications Anna Belkina as she spoke about freedom of the press in Strasbourg. Just like EV, they chanted “propaganda, not journalism.”
Once is a coincidence. Twice is happenstance. This many times is enemy action. Which raises the question of whether free speech really is a “liberal European” value – or do ‘European Values’ and their paymasters actually believe these values only apply to them, and not Others?
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