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Armenia Suspends Sputnik Armenia Radio for “Mocking” Pashinyan

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Armenia’s National Commission on Television and Radio has suspended the license of Tospa, the broadcaster of Sputnik Armenia radio, for thirty days days following remarks by Russian TV personality Tigran Keosayan in November deemed “offensive” to Armenia.

The Russian embassy in Yerevan criticized yesterday’s decision, arguing the measure was taken to push Armenia further from Russia.

Sputnik Armenia is a subsidiary of the Russian state-owned Sputnik news agency.

The Commission writes that Keosyan, during a November 17, 2023 radio program, referred to Armenia and its people in “mocking and derogatory terms”, adding that Keosyan, a foreign commentator, has no moral right to make such assessments.

The Commission writes that Keosyan’s claims and opinions were false and caused “panic” in Armenia.

Sputnik Armenia has hit back, calling the suspension decision unfounded.

While Sputnik Armenia acknowledges that Keosyan voiced harsh criticism of Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, accusing him of betraying the country, the station disagrees that this was a call for violence.

“Does Pashinyan really think that he will remain alive after this betrayal?”, Keosyan asked during the program. 

Keosyan is married to Margarita Simonyan, editor in chief of the international channel Russia Today and a loyal supporter of President Vladimir Putin. 

The Commission also fined Tospa 500,000 drams (US$1,200).



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