Russia warns of ‘consequences’ as UK fines RT for coverage of Skripal poisoning
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Russia warns of ‘consequences’ as UK fines RT for coverage of Skripal poisoning

On Friday, British media regulator Ofcom announced that it had fined RT $325,000 for breaching impartiality rules in programs broadcast between March 17 and April 26 dealing with the issue of the former Russian spy's poisoning.   Britain has blamed Russia for the attack on Skripal, which took place in March last year when the 66-year-old former Russian double agent and his daughter, Yulia, 33, were found unconscious outside a restaurant in the southern English city of Salisbury.   London believes Russia’s military intelligence service GRU carried out the attack using a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok.   The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it would view Ofcom’s actions as part of “an anti-Russian campaign” aimed at limiting Russian media’s activities in Britain.   “We are carefully following the situation and remind British media working in Russia that they should be ready to face the consequences of official London’s actions,” the ministry said.   In the same statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry criticized Russia-related stories reported by Reuters, The Guardian and the BBC.   An RT spokeswoman denounced Ofcom’s punitive measure as “very wrong” in principle and said the fine had been imposed prematurely before the High Court in London had finished a judicial review of the British media regulator’s findings.   The spokeswoman also called the amount of the fine “particularly inappropriate and disproportionate.”   "It is very wrong for Ofcom to have issued a sanction against RT on the basis of its breach findings that are currently under Judicial Review by the High Court in London," she said. "And while we continue to contest the very legitimacy of the breach decisions themselves, we find the scale of proposed penalty to be particularly inappropriate and disproportionate."   The Kremlin has vehemently rejected any involvement, saying the substance could have originated from the countries studying Novichok, including the UK itself, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Sweden. Moscow has described the claims as a “circus show” hosted by the British authorities.   Relations between London and Moscow have sunk to their lowest since Cold War after the poisoning attack.  

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