Is This the First “Sanction” Against Russia? UK Bank Freezes ALL RT Accounts Held In The UK
Reports are emerging that National Westminster Bank, one of the UK’s “Big Five” banks has frozen ALL accounts related to the Russian news outlet RT.
Margarita Simony who works for RT tweeted: “They’ve closed our accounts in Britain. All our accounts. ‘The decision is not subject to review.’ Praise be to freedom of speech!” (source)
The BBC states:
The broadcaster, previously known as Russia Today, says NatWest wrote to its London office saying: “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, which is run by the Kremlin, has previously been sanctioned by UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom for biased reporting.
This included claims that the BBC “staged” a chemical weapons attack for a news report on Syria.
The BBC won a case against the TV channel after complaining to Ofcom, saying the allegations made in a programme called The Truthseeker were false and struck “at the heart” of its obligations to accuracy and impartiality.
The BBC, known by anyone with even a few brain cells to be a mouthpiece for the British Government, is bound to have a bit of a bias against RT. This seems to be par for the course with any mainstream media outlet these days. There is so little independent and unbiased reporting out there ,it’s no wonder more and more people are turning to the alternative media to get their information.
RT is reporting that the bank said its decision was final and that they are “not prepared to enter into any discussion.”
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.
Ever since the Ukraine crisis, the West has been imposing sanctions on Russia, but UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and U.S Secretary of State John Kerry were talking about additional sanctions at their recent meeting in London. Could this be the first of those new sanctions? Are they hoping to strike a blow against free speech and to silence Russian opinion in the Western news? (Well, duh.)
The RT press office released the following statement:
“This decision is incomprehensible, and without warning. It is however, not at odds with the countless measures that have been undertaken in the UK and Europe over the last few years to ostracize, shout down, or downright impede the work of RT. RT UK will continue its operations uninterrupted,” RT press office stated.
“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.
In August Spain stopped payments to RT over EU sanctions that were imposed against a media chief that had no affiliation whatsoever with RT. You can read more about that here.