Latvia's broadcast regulator said several Russian 'propaganda' television channels will have their broadcasting rights suspended with immediate effect, public broadcaster LSM reported on Thursday.
The chairman of the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) Ivars Abolins said there will be broadcast bans for Rossija RTR for five years, Rossija 24 for four years and TV Centr International for three years.
"This decision was taken for the first time in the history of the European Union, using a provision in the Audiovisual Media Services Directive that allows derogations from the approximately one-year restriction procedure in emergency situations," Abolins said.
Pressure to pull the channels had been building for some time as they broadcast Russian government propaganda regarding the situation in Ukraine.
The bans usually apply for one year but have been extended due to the security situation in the region and serious violations. They have also been enacted faster than usual.
Editor: Helen Wright