German bank closing accounts of Russian propaganda media RT
Earlier, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said RT was seeking to weaken trust in democratic institutions.REUTERS
Germany’s Commerzbank on February 26 has notified Russia’s propaganda media assets Russia Today Germany (RT DE) and Ruptly it was closing their accounts from May 31.
That’s according to MFA Russia’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova, RIA Novosti reports.
Zakharova warned Germany that the relevant “tough” measures would be taken in relation to German media operating in Russia in case Germany fails to provide “decent conditions” for the Russian propagandists’ work.
RT has been trying to find a replacement for Commerzbank, but several financial institutions, including Helaba, Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank, BNP Paribas, ING, HSBC, UBS, and HypoVereinsbank, have either ignored RT’s inquiries or refused to open accounts on its behalf.
Earlier, Spiegel wrote that Germany was concerned over the influence of Russian propaganda TV.
“With RT DE, Moscow wants to provide a platform for corona skeptics, right-wing populists and leftist fans of the Kremlin to destabilize democracy in Germany. Internal emails provide insights into the media organization,” the publication wrote.
RT DE, which had been called RT Deutsch until November, has been disseminating Kremlin-financed propaganda in Germany since 2014. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which has been keeping an eye on the platform, says the outlet is seeking to weaken trust in democratic institutions. The agency says there are close links between the station and those seeking to undermine the democratic order in Germany in addition to conspiracy theorists. And it considers the news disseminated by RT DE to be part of a disinformation campaign orchestrated by the Russian state.
Internal documents from the media platform that DER SPIEGEL has seen show the extent to which German staff are required to follow instructions from Moscow, and how political those instructions are.