EU bans distribution of Voice of Europe, RIA Novosti, Izvestiya and Rossiyskaya Gazeta

The European Union has imposed a distribution ban on four Russian-controlled media outlets, AFP reported.
The media targeted by the ban are the Voice of Europe website, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti and the newspapers Izvestiya and Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
The formal announcement of the sanctions confirmed a decision taken earlier this week by the ambassadors of the bloc's 27 member states. This came despite Moscow's warning of retaliation against Western journalists working in Russia.
"These media are under the constant direct or indirect control of the leadership of the Russian Federation. They have been instrumental and instrumental in the deployment and support of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as in destabilising its neighbours. The Russian Federation has engaged in a systematic international campaign of media and information manipulation, interference and serious distortion of the facts," the bloc's statement said.
These additions bring to 17 the number of Russia-linked media organisations banned from broadcasting in the EU following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
The bans cover "all means of transmission and distribution in or directed at EU member states" but do not stop journalists from working in the bloc.
The EU is seeking to tackle foreign interference ahead of elections across the bloc next month.
In March, Czech intelligence broke up an alleged Moscow-funded network that used the Prague-based Voice of Europe media outlet to spread Russian propaganda.
Belgian authorities have also launched an investigation into allegations that the media outlet - allegedly funded by pro-Kremlin businessman Viktor Medvedchuk - was used to pay European lawmakers to spread Moscow's theses. /BGNES