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February 26
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The Commission on Television and Radio (CTR) of Armenia has found violations of the provisions of the agreement on the broadcasting of Russian TV channels in the country. The head of the CTR, Tigran Hakobyan, has said in an interview with Sputnik Blizhnee Zarubezhie.

It comes after MP for the ruling Civil Agreement faction, Lusine Badalyan, said that it is necessary to block the broadcasting of the Russian TV channels in Armenia due to their "anti-Armenian content", which poses a threat to the country's national security.

According to Tigran Hakobyan, it was not the MP's personal initiative; there have been violations by RTR-Planeta and First Channel World Network channels.

"Apart from the Russian ones, there are no other foreign broadcasters in the public multiplex of Armenia. It was a political decision to allow our allies to broadcast in our territory, taking into account Russia's interest and the fact that we have a lot of Russian-speaking listeners. But using it and presenting such content (with violations, - ed.), I think, is wrong. We have an absolutely free country, there are just some lines that cannot be crossed," he noted.

He also emphasized that it is only about the public multiplex (not cable broadcasting), which has its own philosophy, concept of broadcasting and which even local commercial TV channels have no right to violate.

Tigran Hakobyan also pointed to the fact that Armenia is the only post-Soviet republic in which Russian TV channels are broadcast in its public multiplex. There are no Russian channels on the public multiplex either in such countries as Kazakhstan (Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and Eurasian Economic Union member) or Tajikistan (CSTO member), which are also Russia's allies.

As for Armenian cable networks, Russian channels and Russian-language programs of American and European TV stations are completely dominant here. Therefore, there is no question of violation of the rights of viewers of Russian-language channels, Tigran Hakobyan explained.

MIR TV company is not considered a foreign broadcaster, because it is an interstate television and radio company, the founder of which is also Armenia. Moreover. According to Hakobyan, that TV company did not commit violations that RTR-Planeta and First Channel do.

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