OF THE ARMENIAN NATIONAL PLATFORM OF
THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM
On the Broadcasting of Russia 1 and the First Channel in Armenia
Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) is deeply concerned with the programmes and reports overtly propagating xenophobia and spawning hatred between nations, broadcasted by Russian TV channels, Russia 1 and the First Channel, which are rebroadcasted in the Republic of Armenia on the basis of intergovernmental agreements. This phenomenon has become more evidential in the context of recent political developments around Ukraine.
In this regard, there has been the noteworthy decision of the Russian Public Collegium for Press Complaints programme of Russia 1 TV channel (aired on December 8, 2013) and its anchorman Dmitry Kiselyov. The Public Collegium has characterized the disputed story of the programme as “propagandistic in style”, “with fake video footage” and “low quality, at times offensive” TV material which “does not contribute to trust between nations”. It is no coincidence that the name of Dmitry Kiselyov has been included in the list of “undesirable persons” for the EU. Calls for suspension of broadcasting of the Russian TV channels, particularly news and political programmes, which carry out an aggressive campaign to ‘manipulate’ the public opinion, were made in a number of countries of EU and Eastern Partnership.
EaP CSF Armenian National Platform finds dissemination of Russian propaganda of this kind in the territory of Republic of Armenia to be illegal as it contradicts the RA Constitution (Article 14.1), the national legislation (particularly the RA Law “On Television and Radio”, Article 24, Points b, d, e, g), as well as a number of international conventions that Armenia has joined, requiring prohibition of dissemination of xenophobia and hatred between nations. Such content is detrimental to information security of our country and its relations with other nations, as well as destabilizes the public life. As a matter of fact, Russia 1 and the First Channel, occupying radio frequencies which constitute a limited public resource, act against the national interests of Armenia.
Similar effects are observed in some other Russian TV channels, such as Russia 24, NTV, TVC, etc., rebroadcasting in Armenia via cable network or on other basis, which further aggravate the informational and moral damage caused to the Armenian citizens.
EaP CSF Armenian National Platform demands the RA authorities to:
- Consider the issue of legality of the operation of Russia 1 and the First Channel based on the intergovernmental agreements;
- Revise the above mentioned agreements and suspend the broadcasting of the two named TV channels via national broadcasting network, if the propaganda of xenophobia and hatred between nations would not stop, as well as announce licensing competitions for the frequencies released.
April 7, 2014, Yerevan
Negotiators and other senior officials from Eastern Neighbourhood countries and Russia have met in the Cypriot capital Nicosia together with EU representatives and the team of the EU-funded Clima East project for a workshop on international climate negotiations, to discuss the outcomes of last year’s COP 19 UN climate change conference and their approaches to key issues ahead.
The meeting saw presentations on national policy and preparations for a 2015 climate deal, focusing on barriers to progress, support needs in partner countries ahead of a 2015 Agreement, means of cooperation between the EU and partner countries, and how the preparations of the partner countries could be supported through the Clima East Project.
The Clima East project, supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation in Russia and ENP East countries, supports partner countries so that they are better equipped for greenhouse gas emission reductions and better prepared to deal with the impacts of climate change. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Clima East website
Strengthening and empowering Ukraine’s local and regional authorities is essential to stabilise the country and step up democratic reforms, members of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) underlined in a debate today with the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle. The CoR is “committed to further Cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities for achieving the goals of local self-government, territorial cooperation and European integration,” a press release said.
“The impact of decentralisation on the unity of Ukraine can only be positive. Decentralisation is not federalisation. There are many differences, the biggest one being that whereas decentralisation is called for from inside Ukraine, federalisation is promoted by outsiders,” Comissioner Füle said during the debate on the situation in Ukraine at the CoR plenary session.
CoR President Ramón Luis Valcárcel pledged the Committee’s support to the Ukrainian authorities, in particular through its platform for cooperation with the Eastern Partners, theConference of the Regional and Local Authorities (COLREAP). “National, regional and local authorities of Ukraine can find in the CoR and CORLEAP strong allies and trustful partners that are ready to share best practices and know-how in the field of decentralisation, local democracy and territorial cohesion,” Valcárcel said. He also welcomed the invitation by the Ukrainian government to work together in the coming weeks and months on administrative reform for decentralisation.
Volodymyr Groysman stressed the Ukrainian government’s resolve to achieve effective decentralisation and regional policy through a five-step reform programme, including resources allocation to the various levels of government and accountability of local government. “I do not remember any point in the past where Ukraine was so determined for reforms,” the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister emphasized.
CoR members set forth their position and commitments towards Ukraine in a resolution, in which the CoR reiterated “its full commitment to be involved in the overall EU assistance to regional and local authorities to find appropriate solutions to the crisis and to share best practices and know-how with the Ukrainian partners in the field of decentralisation.” This includes sharing experience on administrative reforms to achieve decentralisation, on territorial cooperation instruments (e.g. European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, cross-border cooperation, twinning), and on the use of platforms for exchanging good practice between cities – such as the Covenant of Mayors for energy efficiency.
COLREAP was established by the Committee of the Regions in 2011 to bring a regional and local dimension into the EU’s Eastern Partnership. CORLEAP brings together 36 regional and local elected representatives from the EU and the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries, including Ukraine. (EU Neighbourhood Info)