March 3, 2020 / 2:27 PM / 25 days ago

Russia accuses BBC World News of flouting broadcasting rules

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk past a BBC logo at Broadcasting House, as the corporation announced it will cut around 450 jobs from its news division, in London, Britain January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s communications regulator accused the BBC World News channel on Tuesday of flouting Russian broadcasting rules and said a court would hear its detailed complaints later this month.

Britain’s ties with Russia are at post-Cold War lows over the 2018 poisoning in the English city of Salisbury of Sergei Skripal, a former mole who betrayed hundreds of Russian agents to Britain’s MI6 foreign spy service.

Britain said Russian military intelligence poisoned Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok. Russia repeatedly denied any involvement and said Britain staged the attack to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.

Moscow has repeatedly told London that British media like the BBC should expect consequences if Russia’s state-financed RT television channel encounters difficulties in Britain.

Ofcom, Britain’s media regulator, last year fined RT for breaching impartiality rules in broadcasts over the Skripal poisoning, the conflict in Syria, and Ukraine’s policies on Nazism and gypsies.

On Tuesday, Russia’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, said the BBC had failed to label violent or upsetting content with the correct age certificate and had not submitted copies of its content to the Russian authorities on time.

Moscow could hit the BBC with two fines of up to 200,000 roubles ($3,050) for the first offence and up to 20,000 roubles for the second. The court hearing is due on March 12, Roskomnadzor said.

The BBC said it has yet to receive details of the claims.

“As a global broadcaster, the BBC aims to fully comply with the legislation and regulations of every country where it operates,” it said in a statement.

Reporting by Nadezhda Tsydenova; additional reporting by Alexander Marrow, Polina Devitt and Estelle Shirbon; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn/Mark Heinrich

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