An official with Russia’s state-owned news outlet has confirmed that its NatWest bank account was frozen by the UK government.
Image shows Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.
According to the editor-in-chief of Russia Today, NatWest gave no explanation for their action but there are speculations this could be one of the many sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s country.
Margarita Simonyan tweeted: “Our accounts in Britain have been blocked. All of them. ‘Decision not to be discussed’. Hail to freedom of speech!”
RT, formerly known as Russia Today, confirms it received a letter from the bank which reads: “We have recently undertaken a review of your banking arrangements with us and reached the conclusion that we will no longer provide these facilities.”
City A.M. quotes RT as reporting that the Royal Bank of Scotland Group as a whole has severed partnership with the company. And NatWest is part of the RBS Group.
The editor-in-chief is quoted as saying:
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.
Russia Today has been accused of biased reporting, an allegation spearheaded by the country’s broadcast regulator Ofcom, City A.M. wrote.
A Brit who worked for the state-owned news outlet resigned in 2014, claiming she couldn’t cope with the biased reporting on news around Russia and Ukraine.