Russia blocks access to The Irish Times and 80 other EU media outlets

Other Irish publications – as well as Spain’s El País, France’s Le Monde and Germany’s Der Spiegel – also hit with ban

The Kremlin said on Tuesday it was limiting access to 81 news organisations from 25 EU member states. Photograph: Alamy/PA

Russia has blocked access to 81 European news publications, including The Irish Times, in retaliation for a European Union ban on some Russian outlets. Access to RTÉ and the Irish Independent has also been restricted.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday it was limiting access to 81 different news organisations from 25 member states, including Le Monde, Der Spiegel and Agence France-Presse.

El País, Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, Politico, La Repubblica and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung were also among the titles banned.

The EU announced in May that it was suspending the distribution of what it described as four “Kremlin-linked propaganda networks,” stripping them of their broadcasting rights in the bloc.


It said at the time that the ban applied to Voice of Europe, the RIA news agency and to the Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspapers.

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The Russian foreign ministry hit back on Tuesday, accusing European outlets of “systematically distributing inaccurate information” about what Russia calls its special military operation – its war – in Ukraine.

“The Russian side has repeatedly warned at various levels that politically motivated persecution of Russian journalists and unjustified bans on Russian media outlets in the EU will not go unanswered,” the ministry said on its website, adding that the decision could be revised on a reciprocal basis.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, said in May that the EU move had shown that the West refused to accept any alternative point of view and was destroying freedom of speech.

Italy’s foreign ministry on Tuesday condemned the Russian decision to ban access to dozens of European media outlets, including Italian broadcasters Rai and La7 and newspapers La Repubblica and La Stampa.

“We regret the unjustified measure taken against these Italian broadcasters and newspapers, which have always provided objective and unbiased information on the conflict in Ukraine,” the ministry said.

Many western news organisations pulled staff out of Russia after it launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, 2022. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times