Russia plans retaliation for British sanction against RT

Russia’s telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor said Thursday it is preparing amendments to the country’s legislation that will allow tit-for-tat retaliation after British media regulator Ofcom fined RT news channel for alleged partiality.

“We announce officially the preparation of amendments to Russian legislation in the coming days. The purpose of the amendments is to bring the rules that apply to foreign media working in Russia in line with British standards,” Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

The Russian watchdog said that it keeps an open channel for consultations with Ofcom.

Last week, Ofcom was fined RT 200,000 pounds (about 249,000 U.S. dollars) as it “failed to preserve due impartiality” in seven news and current affairs programs between March 17 and April 26 in 2018 concerning major matters of political controversy and current public policy.

These matters included the British government’s response to the alleged poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain’s southwestern city of Salisbury, and the Syrian conflict, according to the Ofcom.

RT said Ofcom was wrong to have issued sanctions when an RT challenge of its findings was under Judicial Review by the High Court in London despite Ofcom’s opposition.

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned last week that British media outlets operating in Russia “must be prepared to face the consequences.”