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Netflix says it won’t air state TV channels in Russia

By Frank Pallotta, CNN Business

Netflix is refusing to air Russian state TV channels in the country — something that the streamer would have been required to do by Russian law starting this week.

“Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” Netflix told CNN Business in a statement Monday.

The news comes a week after Russia launched a military assault on Ukraine. The invasion has been condemned by many nations around the world and sparked a series of crippling economic sanctions targeting the Russian economy.

The law, which would have applied to Netflix as of March 1, requires media platforms that reach more than 100,000 subscribers in Russia to distribute free-to-air Russian news and entertainment TV channels. It is overseen by the country’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor.

One of the channels is Channel One, which has “close links to the Kremlin,” according to Politico.

Netflix service will continue to operate in Russia. The company did not say how it would avoid the regulation if it is enforced and said it is monitoring the situation closely.

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