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Russia’s RT hit with British fine for breach of broadcast rules

In this Tuesday, June 11, 2013 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin is shown on the screen of a camera viewfinder at the new headquarters of "Russia Today" television channel in Moscow, Russia. (Yuri Kochetkov/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Britain‘s media regulator fined Russia‘s RT 200,000 pounds ($248,740 USD) for breaching broadcasting impartiality rules in its coverage of the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, Ukraine and the conflict in Syria.

READ MORE: Putin says story of ex-spy’s poisoning not ‘worth 5 copecks’, as new suspect reported

“Ofcom has imposed a £200,000 fine on ANO TV Novosti in relation to its service RT for failing to comply with our broadcasting rules,” the regulator said.

RT said the fine was wrong.

READ MORE: Growing popularity of Kremlin network RT signals the age of information war

“It is very wrong for Ofcom to have issued a sanction against RT on the basis of its breach findings that are currently under Judicial Review by the High Court in London,” an RT spokeswoman said.

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“And while we continue to contest the very legitimacy of the breach decisions themselves, we find the scale of proposed penalty to be particularly inappropriate and disproportionate.”

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Russia‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned British media operating in Russia that they should be ready to face consequences for the fine.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that it regarded Ofcom’s actions as “part of an anti-Russian campaign designed to restrict the activities of Russian media in Britain.”

“We are carefully following the situation and remind British media working in Russia that they should be ready to face the consequences of official London’s actions,” it said.

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