Friday, June 26 2020 21:14
Karina Manukyan

Russian Embassy in Armenia commented on the situation around the  draft law "On Audiovisual Media"

Russian Embassy in Armenia commented on the situation around the  draft law "On Audiovisual Media"

ArmInfo. The press service of the  Russian Embassy in Armenia made a statement on the requests of a  number of media outlets to comment on the situation in the  information space of Armenia around the draft law "On Audiovisual  Media" adopted in the first reading. <As far as we understand, in  this case the matter concerns discussing a legislative act aimed at  modernizing the legal framework for the functioning of audiovisual  media in Armenia by essentially replacing the law "On Television and  Radio>. First of all, we would like to emphasize that this issue is  an internal affair of Armenia as a sovereign state. At the same time,  the new law will directly affect the fate of broadcasting of Russian  television channels in the Republic. Of course, we are closely  following the process of its consideration. But what if we look at  the situation around the draft law a little wider?

Of course, its adoption will lead to a fairly serious transformation  of the entire industry of the media space.  Under the new conditions,  foreign broadcasters, and today it is mainly a question of Russian  television channels, will be able to broadcast in a public multiplex  only on the basis of an interstate agreement. That is, it is  necessary to agree on new <rules of the game>, which, apparently,  will be proposed by the Armenian side. The Russian side has  repeatedly indicated its readiness for an appropriate dialogue. We  are waiting for the response of the Armenian partners.

One important aspect of the discussion is the so-called "language"  security. As far as we understand, it stipulates the requirement  contained in the draft law on the mandatory "accompaniment" of a  foreign- language media product with dubbing or subtitles in  Armenian. Again, in fact, we are talking mainly about  Russian-language programs. It is no secret that even from the early  stage of the establishment of an independent Armenian state, the  Russian language from a formal point of view has lost any special  status.  New requirements essentially continue this process. But de  facto, the Russian language continues to play a greater role in  Armenia today than just a foreign language. We know that a  significant part of Armenian citizens is directly connected with  Russia - someone works there, someone lives with relatives, whom they  often visit, etc. Our countries are united by membership in the  Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty  Organization. For example, let's take a look at the sensational  situation with the recognition of Armenian driver's licenses in  Russia. For this, it was necessary that the Russian language in  Armenia have an official status. However, despite its absence,  understanding the importance of resolving this issue for many  Armenian citizens, the Russian side shows a constructive spirit and  expresses readiness by joint efforts within the EAEU to find an  acceptable solution to this complex issue, taking into account the  special ties between our countries. These are just some examples that  testify to the special role of the Russian language in Armenia, which  is a direct reflection of the realities of our relations.

The same realities determined the interest of the Armenian society in  Russian TV channels. By the way, according to the report on the  activities of the National Commission on Television and Radio of RA  broadcast on "Channel One", "RTR Planet" and "Russia". Culture> have  a fairly solid and well-established audience.

Given the new legislative requirements, involuntarily the question  arises of the availability of cable packages. If a person considers  that the set of channels of the public multiplex does not satisfy his  information needs, he will be forced to make a choice in favor of  cable television. However, you must admit that in Armenia today not  everyone can afford it.

Often it is heard various kinds of reproaches regarding the content  of programs shown on Russian television channels. This seems to be  largely a matter of preference. In general, any media, including  television channels, represent one or more points of view with which  the viewer has the right to agree or disagree. You can even challenge  them, because, as you know, truth is born in a dispute.

All this is a reflection that in no way claims to interfere in the  legislative process. Armenian parliamentarians will vote based on  their own understanding of the interests of their state and people.   Russia, of course, will respect any decisions in this regard. At the  same time, we hope that the above considerations will complement the  overall picture of the ongoing discussions. Moreover, the new law  will definitely have a significant impact on the information policy,  which is an important part of the overall complex of relations  between our countries and peoples>, the comment reads. 

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