The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has welcomed news that Russia will establish a new independent national broadcaster.
The OSCE representative on freedom of the media, Dunja Mijatovic, called the announcement a "positive development."
She said "by offering pluralistic and objective information to viewers, public service broadcasters can play a vital role in strengthening democracy."
Earlier on April 17, outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a presidential decree calling for the establishment of a public channel beginning January 1, 2013.
Opposition parties in Russia have long called for such a station as most of the country's media are in the hands of the Kremlin or allied business interests.
Mijatovic stressed the importance of independent oversight of the new proposed channel and offered Moscow help "to create a modern public broadcaster for the Russian people."
Based on RFE/RL and dpa reporting