Sputnik ends operations in Estonia
Russian media agency Sputnik has suspended its operations in Estonia due to sanctions, Russian media reports.
RIA Novost news agency reported all Sputnik Estonia employees ended their employment with the agency as of January 1, 2020, according to Postimees. Sputnik's Tallinn office employed 35 people.
The Sputnik Estonia website will continue to operate.
Sputnik was founded in 2014 by Rossija Segodnya as its international arm. Dmitri Kisseljov, Director-General of Rossija Segodnya, is on the European Union's list of personal sanctions for supporting the violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity.
ERR News reported in November that sanctions against the Kremlin propaganda channel Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today) are forcing the Russian state-controlled media portal Sputnik organization to move out of its rental space in Tallinn as Estonian banks do not accept Sputnik salary payments.
Russia is to take tough steps in retaliation against pressure put on journalists working for Russian news agency Sputnik in Estonia, speaker of the Russian parliament Valentina Matviyenko, said last week.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu told ERR in an interview that Russia is accusing Estonia of going after Sputnik to erode the EU's Russian sanctions policy.
Reinsalu (Isamaa) said: "But what I want to emphasize is that we have not taken measures against the portal's media content. They are financial sanctions aimed at economic activity. I believe it to be justified."
Rossia Segodnya is a news agency owned and operated by the Russian government whose name translates as "Russia Today." It should not be confused with RT, the Russian government-funded Russian international television network, which operated under the name Russia Today from 2005-2009.
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Editor: Helen Wright