Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation has all the legal grounds to put frequencies of Crimea’s broadcasting stations out to tender, Crimea’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Polonsky announced, the press service of Crimean Council of Ministers reports.

Polonsky’s words come as Russian federal telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor announced Dec 16 it would launch a tender on February 25th to cover nineteen TV frequencies in the Crimea.

Dec 30, Russian operator RTRS put an engineering contract out to tender for the terrestrial television network using DVB-T2 technology in the Crimea region and in the city of Sevastopol. The initial value of the deal totals RUB 10 million. Twenty TV channels and three radio stations are due to be transmitted there.

According to Polonsky, all the TV and radio companies may tender, if their activity “is arranged in accordance with Russian legislation”.

Earlier, Russian ombudsman Ella Pamfilova has appealed to the Minister of Mass Communications of Russia Nilokay Nikiforov, to retain the broadcasting of Crimea’s local broadcasting station and postpone the tender. She expressed fear that Crimea’s stations would likely loose the tenders and would be replaced by Russian media-holdings.

Meanwhile, Crimea’s deputy head Polonsky said “no exceptions will be made, in particular for companies, which appealed to Russia’s ombudsman”.

It should be noted, that the first and only Crimean Tatar television channel ATR, together with other independent media, has come under pressure since Crimea’s unification with Russia.