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BBC Removed From FM Radio In Russia

(RFE/RL) August 17, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- A Moscow FM radio station has informed the BBC's Russian Service that it will no longer carry the British broadcaster's programming.

The holding company FINAM, which owns the Moscow station Big Radio, told the BBC that its broadcast license no longer permits it to rebroadcast programming from other media.

Konstantin Eggert, editor in chief of the Moscow bureau of the BBC's Russian Service, told RFE/RL's Russian Service that this is not the first time the broadcaster has had problems broadcasting on FM.

"The BBC has had problems with its broadcasts on FM earlier in Russia," Eggert said. "At the end of 2006, the Moscow radio station Radio Arsenal stopped broadcasting the BBC's programming. And in the beginning of 2007, Radio Leningrad in St. Petersburg also did this [removed BBC programming]. Radio Leningrad informed the BBC that local licensing authorities demanded that it remove the BBC's programming."

The BBC said it intends to appeal the decision with Russia's federal broadcasting authorities.

Big Radio was the last FM station in Russia to broadcast the BBC's programming.

BBC still broadcasts in the Russian language on the Internet and on AM in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg.