Russia’s state-run broadcaster has had its NatWest bank account frozen, according to its editor-in-chief.
Margarita Simonyan tweeted today: “Our accounts in Britain have been blocked. All of them. ‘Decision not to be discussed’. Hail to freedom of speech!”
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RT, formerly known as Russia Today, reported that NatWest had given no explanation.
The bank said in a letter to the broadcaster: “We have recently undertaken a review of your banking arrangements with us and reached the conclusion that we will no longer provide these facilities.”
RT reports that Royal Bank of Scotland Group as a whole, which NatWest is part of, would refuse to service the company.
The editor-in-chief is quoted saying:
We have no idea why it happened, because neither yesterday nor the day before yesterday, nor a month ago, nothing special happened to us, nobody threatened us in any way.
Hypothetically, this may have something to do with new British and American sanctions against Russia, which may be announced soon. It may not. Our legal department is dealing with the issue now.
RT has previously been rebuked for biased reporting by broadcast regulator Ofcom.
In 2014, a UK reporter resigned from the station over what she perceived as biased reporting around Russia and Ukraine.