A high-profile source said on Thursday that the persecutory actions of Estonian authorities against employees of the Sputnik Estonia media outlet were initiated by UK “curators.”
He added that UK authorities had in recent times undertaken a series of aggressive actions toward Russian media, including not issuing a visa to a Russian journalist and barring several Russian journalists from attending events.
On 18 December, Rossiya Segodnya said that employees of Sputnik Estonia had received letters from the Baltic country’s Police and Border Guard Board that warned they would face criminal prosecution unless they severed their ties with the Moscow-based parent news agency by 1 January. The Estonian authorities cited the 2014 EU sanctions as a pretext for possible legal action. Notably, Rossiya Segodnya insisted that it was not mentioned in any EU sanctions lists.
Pressure on Russian media is a regular occurrence in the Baltic countries. The Russian Foreign Ministry says it is an orchestrated campaign by Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which renders their declared commitment to the freedom of speech merely rhetoric.
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