European Alliance of News Agencies suspends TASS

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The executive body of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) has unanimously decided to immediately suspend TASS, Russian leading news agency, from the alliance for not providing unbiased news.

In a statement published on the website EANA wrote: "Under the circumstances of the new media regulation enforced by the Russian government (Roskomnadzor), which is heavily restricting media freedom, the Board of EANA considers that TASS finds itself in violation of the purpose of EANA as it is laid out in the Statutes of the Alliance, not being able to provide unbiased news, which stand at the core of EANA's mission statement."

"Having this in mind, and also the request from members to expel TASS from EANA, the Board, as the executive body of the Alliance, has unanimously decided to immediately suspend TASS from EANA, until a General Assembly will decide, according to the Statutes, whether TASS should be excluded from our Alliance," added the statement.

On Saturday, Wojciech Surmacz, the CEO of the Polish Press Agency (PAP) called for the expulsion of TASS from the Alliance and appealed for a fight against against disinformation.

"I call on the Management Board to launch procedures for the immediate removal of the TASS agency from the European Alliance of News Agencies," Surmacz wrote in a letter to the alliance's board. "The Russian agency has in an unprecedented way and on a scale never before seen, disseminated untrue information on the subject of Russia's aggression against Ukraine."

"Let's not allow the substantiation and legitimisation of disinformation about Russia's criminal attack on Ukraine," the letter continued. "Solidarity with our friends of the Ukrinform agency and the whole Ukrainian nation is our duty today. Long live a free and independent Ukraine," Surmacz wrote.

The European Alliance of News Agencies groups 32 European press agencies, including PAP. Established in 1956 and headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, it is a forum for contacts, cooperation and exchange of experiences.

The alliance's main aim is to work for economic and legal conditions conducive to the functioning of news agencies, including in the field of copyright and access to information sources. It supports cooperation between news agencies and also organises debates and discussions on the agency business, law and new technology.