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News 01 Jan 15

Russia Today Starts Broadcasts From Serbia

The Russian news agency Russia Today will start broadcasting a thrice-daily news programme in Serbian on the public radio station Studio B from January 1.

BIRN, Studio B

The Kremlin news agency Russia Today will start broadcasting a news programme in Serbian three times a day on the Belgrade public radio station, Studio B, as of New Year.

The new radio progamme, titled Sputnik, will cover international politics, business, culture and sport.

Studio B and Russia Today signed a cooperation agreement on December 30.

Studio B's frequency covers Belgrade as well as a wider area about 150 kilometres around the Serbian capital, as far as Zrenjanin in north, Valjevo in the west, Kragujevac in the south and Smederevo in the east.

The radio station, which is owned by the city of Belgrade, is due to be privatised over the course of 2015.

Russia Today announced in October that one of its new offices opening around the world would be in Belgrade, capital of a country with traditionally good relations with Russia.

Russia Today was created by a decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin in December 2013.

It was set up to replace the state-owned news agency RIA Novosti and the Kremlin's international radio service, Voice of Russia.

The presidential decree declares that the mandate of the new agency is to “to provide information on Russian state policy and Russian life and society for audiences abroad”.

RIA Novosti stated at the time that "the move is the latest in a series of shifts in Russia's news landscape, which appear to point toward a tightening of state control in the already heavily regulated media sector".

Although the Russian news channel RT was also formerly known as Russia Today, the news agency has stated that it is “in no way related” to the news channel.

However Margarita Simonyan serves as the editor-in-chief of both RT and news agency Russia Today.

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