Interfax: Head of Kremlin rights council deplores CNN’s decision to quit Russia

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 11 (Interfax) – The decision of the news television station CNN International to end broadcasts in Russia will “deplete” the information picture, head of the Russian presidential Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov told Interfax.

“This is certainly bad news. The fact that CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia will deplete our information picture very seriously. We would like to understand the reasons [behind the TV network’s decision]. Maybe it will help shed light on what is happening in the media sector of Russia and the whole world,” Fedotov said.

“All of us remember that it was CNN that covered a very large number of events live that were increasingly important both for our country and the world as a whole,” he said.

CNN has notified its cable and satellite distributors in Russia that it will no longer be broadcasting on Russian channels beginning next year, Denis Rychka, spokesman for Akado Telecom, a leading broadband provider in Moscow and the Moscow region, told Interfax.

Akado Telecom received an appropriate letter from Turner Broadcasting System Europe, which owns CNN, on October 31, Rychka said.

“In this letter, the company notified us that it would end broadcasts across Russian territory by the end of the year. We will have no right to broadcast this television channel beginning next year,” he said.

The company did not offer any explanation for such a decision, Rychka said, adding that such situations were not rare on the pay TV market.

“Television companies enter different markets and leave them depending on their development prospects and technical possibilities. It is not a single instance,” he said.

VimpelCom operator spokesperson Anna Aibasheva confirmed that a similar letter had been received by her company.

“We have received the letter but we will not comment on this situation,” she told Interfax.

Vadim Ampelonsky, spokesman for Russia’s telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor, told Interfax that the agency had nothing to do with the foreign TV station’s decision to stop broadcasts in Russia.

[featured image is file photo]