CNN International will return to broadcasting in Russia after receiving a broadcast licence, media watchdog Roskomandzor has confirmed.

The American cable and satellite TV channel ceased broadcasting in Russia at the end of last year, allegedly in response to a change in Russia’s advertising law imposing a ban on the broadcast of adverts on paid TV channels. The controversial law, which was to come into effect from 1 January 2015, was amended at the end of January, and now allows cable channels which broadcast 75% Russian content to air adverts.

“Yes, on 23 March we received a 10-year license from Roskomnadzor for broadcasting on television,” a source from CNN told newspaper Izvestia.

Alexander Zharov, head of Roskomnadzor, also confirmed the new license, adding: “I welcome the fact that CNN has clearly followed the agreements reached in the negotiations, and I believe that they will also be accurate and flawless in their content policy.”

At the start of this year, a representative from CNN’s parent company Turner Broadcasting Systems met with Zharov to discuss the possibility of resuming CNN’s broadcast in Russia, however neither company’s press services disclosed details of negotiations at the time.

“CNN’s return to work in our country means that unlike some countries, we do not have restrictions on freedom of speech nor on the work of foreign companies in Russia and the coverage of events in our country,” Zharov said.

CNN, which previously broadcast as part of a package of satellite operator NTV Plus, applied for the new broadcast licence in February.

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By Expat