Moldova blocks access to prominent Russian news sites

US says backs Moldova sovereignty after rebels appeal to Moscow
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Moldova said Tuesday it was blocking access to more than 20 Russian news sites, after tensions soared between the two countries since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The country’s intelligence and security service issued a decree that internet providers must block access to 22 web pages — including that of Moscow’s flagship news outlet Russia Today (RT) and broadcaster NTV.

The decree said the sites were being used in an “information war” against Moldova, and promoted the “alteration of the content of information disseminated from… an aggressor state.”

Last month, Moldova already expelled the country chief of Russia’s state news agency Sputnik, accusing the outlet of spreading “propaganda and disinformation.”

The move by the pro-Western former Soviet republic has drawn the ire of Moscow.

Early this month, Moscow summoned Moldova’s ambassador to protest against what it called “politically-motivated persecution” of Russian-language media in the country of 2.6 million people.

Since the start of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine last year, tensions between the two countries have sharply increased.

Moldova’s current pro-EU government has condemned the assault against Ukraine and alleged a Russian plot to try and overthrow it.

Located between Ukraine and EU member Romania, Moldova applied last year to join the European Union.

EU authorities banned RT and Sputnik in March last year from transmitting in the EU bloc or online, accusing them of acting as mouthpieces for Kremlin “disinformation”.

In June last year, the Moldovan parliament already approved a ban on Russian news programmes, allowing television channels to only air entertainment programmes from Russia and not political or analytical programmes.


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