Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend S.Ilhamgizi / Several Azerbaijani MPs and Chairman of National TV and Radio Council of Azerbaijan commented on the decision ceasing the broadcasting of the Russian RTR-Planeta TV channel in Azerbaijan.
Chairman of National TV and Radio Council of Azerbaijan, Nushiravan Maherremli
- Several experts state that closing RTR-Planeta limited the possibility of Azerbaijan's population to receive information. It is very illogical and groundless reason. Because in all countries worldwide, the foreign TV channels are being transmitted only via cable or satellite antennas. Azerbaijani population has an opportunity to join the cable antennas. Ceasing the broadcasting of the Russian TV channels in Azerbaijan did not break the rights of the Russian-language population. The number of the Russian-language population in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other countries is more than those in Azerbaijan. However, the Russian TV channels are not transmitted in the local frequencies in these countries. Tender will not be announced on the frequency where RTR Planeta was transmitting. If the Russian side wants to re-establish the broadcasting of RTR-Planeta, the Inter-Governmental Commission will continue the talks and re-establishing the broadcasting of RTR-Planeta will be possible instead of transmission of the Azerbaijani TV channel in Russia.
Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Vasili Istratov:
Ceasing the broadcasting of the Russian RTR-Planeta TV channel in Azerbaijan is the own right of Azerbaijan. After 8-9 January, a decision may be made to continue the Inter-Governmental talks. ("RIA Novosti")
Deputy Executive Secretary of ruling New Azerbaijan Party, MP Mubariz Gurbanli:
- I support the decision ceasing the broadcasting of the Russian RTR-Planeta TV channel in Azerbaijan and consider that the Azerbaijani citizens have an opportunity to receive information from various sources. The population may use Internet, cable antennas.
Azerbaijan is an independent State and why should the foreign TV channels be freely broadcasted in our local frequencies? To take into consideration the interests of the Russian-language, English-language and other-language peoples, then we should transmit the channels of all foreign countries, and thus, national interests of Azerbaijan remains under danger.
I support re-establishing the broadcasting of RTR-Planeta in Azerbaijan if only Russia agrees with the transmission of the Azerbaijani TV channel in Russia. Azerbaijan, as an independent State, expects mutual respect and protection of its interests.
Chairman of Azerbaijan Democratic Reforms Party, Sabir Rustamkhanli:
Closing of RTR-Planeta limited the possibility of Azerbaijan's population to receive information. He considers that the Azerbaijanis channels should co-operate with the Russian televisions. In my opinion, it was wrong to cease broadcasting of RTR-Planeta, demanding transmission of the Azerbaijani TV channel in Russia. However, I think that if ceasing the broadcasting of the foreign TV channels in Azerbaijan serves the protection of the interests of Statehood, this step should be approved.
Chairman of Azerbaijan Democratic Reforms Party, MP Asim Mollazade:
- Decision of the National TV and Radio Council of Azerbaijan is a right decision and the opportunities of the population to receive information are wide. I think that instead of re-establishing the broadcasting of RTR-Planeta, local Russian-language channels should be created to satisfy the demand of the Russian-language population. The frequencies of Azerbaijan should belong to Azerbaijan itself.
- Representative of opposition Musavat Party, MP Nasib Nasibli:
- If RTR-Planeta or other foreign TV channels do not pay money to Azerbaijan, it is wrong to ensure their free broadcasting in the country. Ceasing the broadcasting is a right decision.
However, I consider that closing of RTR-Planeta limited the possibility of Azerbaijan's population to receive alternative information. Even I consider that it would be good to organize transmission of CNN, BBC in Azerbaijan via ordinary antennas. It would provide an opportunity to receive alternative information.
Survey was held by S.Ilhamgizi.
Reference: Based on the international practice, in summer 2007 the National TV and Radio Council of Azerbaijan (NTRC) made a decision ceasing the broadcasting of the foreign TV channels in the local frequencies of Azerbaijan. They should be transmitted only via cable or satellite antenna. After this decision, the broadcasting of the Turkish TV channels 'Kanal D', STV, Russian ORT was ceased. To continue the broadcasting of the Russian RTR-Planeta channel, the Russian side suggested the broadcasting of the Azerbaijani AzTV1 channel in the territory of Russia. To discuss the mutual broadcasting of the TV channels, an Azerbaijani-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission was established and talks began. However, the sides could not reach an agreement and as a result, the broadcasting of the Russian RTR-Planeta channel was ceased from 1 January 2008.