'Britain's media regulator Ofcom has declared its potential intention to revoke the license of Russia’s RT television if London officially blames Moscow for the death of a former Russian agent.
Ofcom said on Tuesday that it had informed ANO TV Novosti, the holder of RT's UK broadcast licenses, that it could lose the broadcasting license should Britain determine Russia played a role in poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the city of Salisbury earlier this month.
The regulator said that if such an involvement was revealed, it could mean that there was unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the UK. It reiterated that the Russian government was financing ANO TV Novosti and Ofcom had a duty to check that holders of broadcast licenses remain "fit and proper" to operate in Britain.
The ban on RT's operation in the United Kingdom could render Ofcom as a media body which hardly tolerates narratives opposed to those of the British government.
The organization has a history of acting to the benefit of the British government in disputes with other countries. The body revoked the licenses of Press TV in 2012 after the Tehran-based English language outlet aired confessions by a British-Iranian citizen who had spied for Western intelligence services. Iranian authorities responded to the ban at the time and called Ofcom “the media arm of the Royal family.”
Russian authorities said Tuesday that they would kick out UK media if Britain shut down RT. A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said such potential ban would include British media outlets operating on the Russian territory.
“Not a single British media outlet will work in our country if they shut down Russia Today (RT),” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, warning Britain that threatening a nuclear power like Russia would have dire consequences.'
Read more: Britain’s Ofcom says Russia’s RT could lose license over spy case
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