Azerbaijan to stop broadcasts of Russian and Turkish TV stations
Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

The chairman of Azerbaijan’s National Television and Radio Council, Nushirevan Meherremli, says that the Council will decide at a meeting tomorrow to stop the broadcasts in Azerbaijan of Turkish TV stations Channel D and STV, and of Russia’s RTR and ORT. “Local broadcasters should use national frequencies”, said Meherremli. “We put off considering the issue several years ago because local channels did not develop much. 10 broadcasters have been granted licences so far. An agreement to reduce subscriber’s rental and increase the number of channels by 50 from next year has been reached”, he noted.

Turkey’s TRT will still be allowed to broadcast in Azerbaijan, under an agreement between the countries. AzTV is also broadcasting in Turkey. “Russia and Azerbaijan signed a contract in 1995 that let that country’s channels broadcast in Azerbaijan. But the contract is unilateral. We may consider allowing the Russian channels to broadcast in Azerbaijan if Azerbaijani channels are allowed to broadcast in Russia”, he added.

(Source: Azeri-Press Information Agency)

The Russians, however, see the situation differently. According to Kommersant, the root cause of the forthcoming ban on Russia’s TV in Azerbaijan could be the information policy of the TV channels, especially in the case of the unrecognized Nagorno Karabakh Republic. On September 11, the deputy of Azerbaijan’s parliament, Ganira Pashaeva called for banning the channels of Russia, blaming on RTR Planeta the coverage of celebrations of the 15th anniversary of Nagorno Karabakh independence.