Great Britain, a nation once hailed as a bastion of free speech and media independence has blocked Russian broadcaster RT’s bank accounts, with no possibility of appeal. This comes after Russian/Anglo relations worsen since Boris Johnson’s call to protest outside the Russian embassy in relation to alleged conduct in Syria.
RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said on Monday via social media, ‘Our accounts have been blocked in Britain. All of our accounts. ‘The decision cannot be appealed’. Long live freedom of speech!’
The National Westminster Bank (NatWest) has informed RT UK that it will no longer have the broadcaster among its clients, with no explanation for the decision. The letter, delivered to RT’s London office, stated that ‘we have recently undertaken a review of your banking arrangements with us and reached the conclusion that we will no longer provide these facilities’.
Commenting on developments, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, said it indicated that “Britain on its way out of the EU, abandoned all its commitments to protect the freedom of speech.”