Russia to block EU media outlets including Le Monde, El Pais, Der Spiegel

Russia said Tuesday it was blocking access to dozens of European media outlets, including nine French news websites, in response to the EU slapping broadcasting bans on several Russian outlets last month.

The announcement comes after the European Union unveiled a ban on four Kremlin-controlled media outlets in May, accusing them of being "instrumental in bringing forward and supporting" Moscow's Ukraine offensive.

Russia denounced the bloc's move as "politically motivated" and said it had been forced "to take mirror and proportionate countermeasures".

Russia's foreign ministry listed 81 websites in 25 EU countries and some that operate across Europe that were being banned.

They include the French websites of LCI, Radio France, AFP, Le Monde, Libération, La Croix, L'Express, CNews and Arte TV.

Germany's Der Spiegel and Spain's El Mundo were among the media outlets Russia named, as was the website of digital newspaper Politico.

EU sanctions on Russian media

The ministry said it would "revise" the restrictions if sanctions on Russian media were lifted.

"The Russian side had repeatedly warned at various levels that politically motivated harassment of domestic journalists and unjustified bans on Russian media in the EU area would not go unanswered," it added.

"Counter-restrictions are being introduced on the access from Russian territory of broadcast resources of media outlets from EU member states," its foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Kremlin has long accused Brussels of targeting Russian journalists in the EU.

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