Moldovan President nixes law against Russian media

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Chișinău – President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon, said on Thursday he would not approve a new code of the Moldovan Parliament on television and radio, which advocates a ban on Russian news programs.

Earlier, the Moldovan parliament adopted a new code for television and broadcasting. The document confirms the introduction of rules prohibiting retransmission of programs from countries that have not ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, including Russia.

“The position of the president will be firm – I will not sign this law. But similar situations have occurred in the past, with the [Moldovan] authorities finding other ways, including through the Constitutional Court, to approve measures and suspend the president,” Dodon told issuer NTV Moldova.

According to the president, in approving the new code, the country’s authorities are trying to limit the public’s right to access information.

“Russian TV channels have not been banned elsewhere in Europe, let people choose what they want to watch,” Dodon said.

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The Moldovan parliament adopted a bill last year aimed at combating “foreign propaganda”, including propaganda allegedly coming from Russia. The bill prohibited the transmission of TV and radio programs that with analytical, military or political information.

This comes as weeks ago Dodon announced Moldovas plans to build friendly ties with all countries, but will not “make friends with the West against Russia.”

“We want to make friends with everyone, but we do not want to be used against anyone in terms of geopolitics. We do not want to make friends with the West against Russia – that’s my position,” Dodon told a meeting with the Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Dodon also noted progress in resolving the Transnistrian conflict over the past few years and reiterated his position, “as well as the position of the majority” of the Moldovan people, that the mission of Russian peacekeepers in the region has been successful , denouncing attempts to undermine or question efforts.

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