British bank Barclays has confirmed it has frozen the account of Russian state-run news agency Rossiya Segodnya due to British sanctions on the agency's chief, Dmitry Kiselyov, Rossiya Segodnya's press office told The Moscow Times on Wednesday.
According to Barclays' notification, Rossiya Segodnya's bank account was frozen because Barclays "has information that gives reason to believe that Dmitry Kiselyov, who is under sanctions, serves as Rossiya Segodnya's CEO," the news agency said in a written comment.
Dmitry Kiselyov, a media figure known for his anti-Western views, was sanctioned by the EU in March last year over his support for Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. He has served as CEO of Rossiya Segodnya since December of 2013 following his appointment to the post by President Vladimir Putin.
Kiselyov, who has previously criticized the EU's sanctions against him, called the freezing of the state agency's account "absurdity squared," Rossiya Segodnya's press office reported.
Barclays said it did not comment on private accounts when reached for comment by The Moscow Times on Monday
The bank will not restore the account until it receives either permission from U.K. Treasury, "confirmation from the U.K. Treasury that Rossiya Segodnya is not controlled by Dmitry Kiselyov anymore," or sanctions on Kiselyov are lifted, the bank's message to Rossiya Segodnya said, news agency RIA Novosti reported.
State Duma Deputy Alexei Pushkov has proposed blocking the Russian account of the British news agency the BBC in retaliation for the freezing of Rossiya Segodnya's bank account, RIA reported Tuesday.