The UK bank accounts of Russia Today have been blocked, the Russian news channel’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan reported. “Our accounts in Britain have been blocked. All of them. ‘Decision not to be discussed’. Hail to freedom of speech!” RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said on her Twitter account. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova reacted, saying it seems that in leaving the EU, London also left any freedom of speech obligations behind there. The National Westminster Bank (NatWest) informed RT UK that it would no longer have the broadcaster among its clients.
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The bank provided no explanation for the decision.
“We have recently undertaken a review of your banking arrangements with us and reached the conclusion that we will no longer provide these facilities,” NatWest said in a letter to RT’s London office.
The bank said that the entire Royal Bank of Scotland Group, of which NatWest is part, would refuse to service RT.
The letter said the decision was final and that it is “not prepared to enter into any discussion in relation to it.”
“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,” Margarita Simonyan told RBK business news website.
(With inputs from Russia Today)