Russia refused to renew the contract for the air broadcasts of the radio Voice Of America (VOA) on its territory, reports Interfax.
In a one-sentence letter dated March 21, Dmitry Kiselev, the director of the information agency Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today), stated that “we are not going to cooperate” with the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) request to continue a long-standing contract for broadcasting on Russian soil, said BBG on its website.
BBG is is an independent federal agency of the United States government responsible for supervising all US government-supported, civilian international media, which include VOA and Radio Liberty.
Effective at the end of March, this decision removes the last vestige of Voice of America programming – including news in Russian and English-language lessons – from a local frequency in Moscow.
“Moscow has chosen to do the wrong thing and restrict free speech,” said BBG chairman Jeff Shell. “This is a fundamental value shared by many countries around the world. The BBG will continue to reach audiences in Russia through digital platforms and via satellite transmissions.”