BRUSSELS– The European Court of Justice (ECJ) rejected on Wednesday a request by Russian state news network RT (Russia Today) France to lift a broadcasting ban it is subjected to under the sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) on Russia in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“The EU General Court dismisses Russia Today France’s application for annulment of the EU Council’s acts,” the ECJ said on Twitter. 

Following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on Feb. 24, 2022, the EU Council adopted several sets of sanctions against Russia.

These include broadcasting bans in the EU targeting Russian media that the EU considers disinformation, including RT France. 

These bans have been effective since March 2, and RT France went to court to contest them on March 8. 

RT France asked for the annulment of the Council’s sanctions, arguing that the decision goes against freedom of speech and information, the right to defend oneself, freedom of entrepreneurship, and the principle of non-discrimination based on one’s nationality.

However, the ECJ ruled against RT France, saying that the ban was a “proportionate” measure, and “necessary to the aims pursued.”

It also ruled that RT France’s freedom of entrepreneurship is not harmed, as the measures are temporary and reversible. 

“This prohibition shows that the judiciary of the EU cannot or does not want to oppose political power. European politicians have chosen a path against the values on which Europe was based, such as freedom of expression and diversity of opinion,” tweeted Xenia Fedorova, president of RT France. – Xinhua