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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

NTV Warns of Belarus Cancellation

NTV television's anchor Yevgeny Kiselyov has issued a warning that Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko may be about to take NTV off Belarus' airwaves.


"You [Lukashenko] threaten to end transmission of NTV on Belarussian territory," Kiselyov said on Sunday's "Itogi" news program. "In Soviet times the communists constantly jammed radio stations ... that told the truth about what was happening in the Soviet Union. This ended in tears for the communist regime. Think about this, Comrade Lukashenko."


"Unfortunately I may be saying goodbye to viewers in Belarus for an indefinite period," he said as he concluded his program.


Lukashenko aides have repeatedly threatened to end transmission of NTV and ORT Russian Public Television, which have beamed negative coverage of the president's constitutional battle with parliament from Moscow, undercutting Lukashenko's control of the Belarussian media.


However a Lukashenko spokesman Monday denied there were any concrete plans to take NTV off the air.


"There has been no mention of taking NTV off the air and we have not discussed this with them officially or unofficially. We have perfectly normal relations with NTV," said spokesman Mikhail Podgainy. "What Kiselyov dreams up is his problem."


He added, however, that he could make no guarantees for the station's future in Belarus. "If they try to interfere in our internal politics or discredit Belarus then it is possible that we could put an end to the contract that we have with them," Podgainy said.