Russia is shutting down the Moscow offices of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in retaliation to Ottawa banning Russia’s state-run RT and RT France networks, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced Wednesday.
The Foreign Ministry is also withdrawing the press accreditations and canceling the visas of CBC’s journalists in Russia, Zakharova told reporters.
"A decision was made to take retaliatory measures in connection with Canada's actions," Zakharova said at a daily press briefing.
Canada in March formally banned RT and RT France from its airwaves, saying their programming was "not consistent with Canadian broadcasting standards."
Zakharova said Canada's decision had been "Russophobic" and that the CBC had become "propaganda noise."
"Any alternative view is declared to be Kremlin disinformation," she said.
Most Western countries have moved to ban RT and fellow Russian state media outlet Sputnik, which are widely criticized as Kremlin propaganda tools, in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The move to close CBC’s Moscow offices deals a further blow to international media in Russia as the country cracks down on information that contradicts the Kremlin's narrative of the war.
The broadcaster was one of many foreign media outlets to have suspended reporting within Russia after the country passed a new law criminalizing “fake news” about the Russian Armed Forces.
CBC at the time said it was “very concerned” about the new law, adding that it “appears to criminalize independent reporting on the current situation in Ukraine and Russia.”
AFP contributed reporting.