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European News Agencies Alliance Suspends Russia’s TASS

The TASS building in Moscow. Moskva News Agency

The European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) on Friday confirmed the suspension of Russia's TASS agency for not respecting its standards.

The decision came during the EANA's general assembly in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, the alliance's president Clemens Pig told reporters.

In February, three days after Russia invaded Ukraine, EANA's executive body composed of five members, including AFP CEO Fabrice Fries, decided to "immediately" suspend TASS while awaiting the general assembly's decision.

At the time, EANA said the move followed a "new regulation enforced by the Russian government which is heavily restricting media freedom."

When the Russian invasion started, Russia's communications regulator ordered independent media to avoid using "assault, invasion, or declaration of war," warning that they faced being blocked and fined. 

Roskomnadzor also said that "reliable information" could be found in "official Russian information outlets."

TASS was flouting one of the alliance's "most important purposes ... to carry on journalistic activities at the highest standard possible," EANA secretary general Alexandru Ion Giboi said.

The alliance also voiced full support for Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform.

"We will continue to help and do whatever is in our human power to support Ukrinform, our colleagues and our friends there," Giboi said.

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