Russia closes CBC Radio-Canada office, unacceptable for Trudeau
Steph Deschamps / May 19, 2022
Russia announced on Wednesday the closure of the Moscow office of the Canadian radio and television station CBC/Radio-Canada, and the cancellation of accreditations and visas of its journalists, a decision described as unacceptable by the Canadian Prime Minister.
This is the first time Moscow has banned a Western media outlet since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on February 24. Russia explained that it was a response to the ban on the broadcasting of channels of the Russian group RT in Canada, decided in mid-March.
By his decision to expel Canadian media from Moscow, Putin is trying to prevent them from reporting the facts and this is unacceptable, Justin Trudeau said on Twitter. Journalists must be able to work safely - without censorship, intimidation or interference, he added.
Conversely, accusing the Canadian government of having adopted an openly russophobic (political) course, the spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova estimated, during her weekly briefing, that CBC had become a propaganda megaphone anti-Russian.
She also denounced the support of Canada to Ukraine, before and since the Russian offensive against its neighbor.
For its part, the broadcasting group said it was deeply disappointed by the Kremlin's decision, recalling that CBC/Radio-Canada has had an office in Moscow for 44 years and was until now the only Canadian media company to have a permanent presence in the country, according to a statement.
For international journalism, this is very bad news, said Luce Julien, the group's general manager of information, at a press conference, calling it a black day for information.
The CBC/Radio-Canada group, which employed ten people in Russia, including three foreign journalists, announced at the beginning of March that it was temporarily suspending the work of its journalists in Russia because of a new law that provides for prison sentences in the event of the dissemination of "misleading information about the army regarding the Russian offensive in Ukraine.
The EU has also banned Russian media, but so far Moscow has not adopted equivalent retaliatory measures.