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Moldovan parliament to make tougher law on combatting “Russian propaganda”

The parliament of the Republic of Moldova is drafting new amendments to the Television and Radio Code that envisage punitive measures against the Gagauzian Autonomy where despite a ban Russian channels are still broadcasted.

The head of the autonomy Irina Vlah has said this is allowed by local legislation: “The laws of the autonomy allow Gagauzians deciding on their own on the access to information.”

According to MP Fedor Gagauz, the case to deprive the autonomy of this right “is in court already.”

“While we in Gagauzia watch Russian television channels, the Moldovan Committee for Television and Radio has already fined the Gagauzian TV company; another fine and ban for operation are to follow. Chisinau will toughen its punitive measures against those who decide to use ‘detrimental information’,” the MP stressed.

Earlier, EU Ambassador to Moldova Peter Michalko announced such measures are inadmissible. He placed the emphasis on the fact that the EU opposes any restrictions in access to information. “A general ban on access to information sources is not a European standard,” he said. According to Michalko, “combatting propaganda and disinformation is necessary, but it is important to monitor and reveal true violations and start fighting them.”

Late 2017, the Moldovan parliament passed a law by the ruling Democratic Party to combat foreign propaganda. News and analysis shows with military and political coverage produced in countries that did not ratify the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (which is not ratified by Russia) are banned.

Irina Vlah said then that the amendments infringe upon the rights of Moldovan citizens to access information. This is especially true about “the Russian-speaking population and residents of the Gagauzian Autonomy.”

“Evidently, adopting the law will result in another tension in the Moldovan-Russian relations which is not in the interests of our country,” Vlah said then.

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