Frank Uberall, the chairman of the German Federation of Journalists (DJV), which called on local regulators in January to not issue a broadcasting license for the RT Deutsch broadcaster, said that Germany was not waging any campaigns against Russian media while also stressing that the freedom of speech was not being violated in the countryMOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 01st February, 2019) Frank Uberall, the chairman of the German Federation of Journalists (DJV), which called on local regulators in January to not issue a broadcasting license for the RT Deutsch broadcaster, said that Germany was not waging any campaigns against Russian media while also stressing that the freedom of speech was not being violated in the country.
His remark came soon after the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said that Russia would hand over proof that Germany had intensified attempts to discredit Russian media to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
"Russian media workers can work freely in Germany and cover events there ... There is no campaign against Russian foreign media in Germany, there is only unanimous criticism toward the methods of their work," Uberall said in a statement released late on Thursday.
He added that the DJV was acting independently of the German government.
Uberall also claimed that the DJV shared the opinion of a range of German journalists that Russian media operating in the country were jeopardizing democracy and acting as the voice of the Kremlin, albeit without substantiating his allegation.
On January 11, the DJV issued a statement calling on German regulators supervising media activities to not issue the license for RT Deutsch, claiming that the broadcaster was a "tool for Kremlin propaganda."
According to the DJV website, the federation sticks to its call on the regulators to ban RT Deutsch broadcasting.
The situation with Russian media in the West has become increasingly difficult in recent years. In November 2016, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution to counter alleged Russian anti-European Union propaganda. According to the document, media such as Sputnik and RT pose a threat to European unity, and therefore extra European Commission funding is needed for counter-propaganda projects. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the resolution proved that Western democracy was failing, but expressed hope that common sense would prevail and Russian media outlets would be able to work abroad without restrictions.
A number of Western politicians, including those in the United Kingdom, the United States, and France, have accused Sputnik and RT of interfering in elections and spreading propaganda, without providing any evidence. Russian officials have repeatedly stressed that Moscow does not meddle in other countries' affairs.