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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

NTV Refuses Airtime for Kremlin Hopefuls

NTV has refused to provide free airtime for candidates in the upcoming presidential election campaign, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

The television channel was initially included in the Central Elections Commission's list of media outlets required to give free airtime or print space to presidential candidates, but it argued that it was exempt from the rule, Vedomosti said. NTV did not provide an explanation for why it was exempt.

All media outlets owned or funded by the state are required by law to provide free airtime or print space for presidential candidates.

NTV did not appear on the final version of the list, which was announced Thursday, Interfax reported.

Television channels on the list include Channel One, Rossia and TV-Center, all of which gave free airtime to the parties participating in last weekend's State Duma elections.

The presidential campaign will see more newspapers giving free space to candidates than in the Duma campaign. The elections commission's list includes Komsomolskaya Pravda, Izvestia and Moskovsky Komsomolets.

Separately, the commission said the list of presidential candidates would be finalized by Jan. 27, Interfax reported. The official campaign period, in which candidates get free airtime, will begin Feb. 2. The vote is March 2.