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Russia: Broadcasting

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with his French counterpart the termination of Russian language broadcasts by EU member states to (a) Russia, (b) Belarus, (c) Azerbaijan and (d) Uzbekistan. (245877)

We did not discuss with the French presidency the termination of Russian language broadcasts by other EU member states to Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan or Uzbekistan. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no plans at present to discuss this with the current Czech EU presidency. The UK did raise with the French the BBC World Service's Azerbaijan service (that includes Russian broadcasting) ending on 31 December 2008 by order of the Azeri National Radio and TV Broadcast Council. We will continue to monitor the situation and will raise with the Czechs as appropriate.