As Ukraine continues to defend itself against a Russian invasion, Netflix said it does not plan to comply with a regulation to carry Russian state programming in that country.
Netflix, which registered as an audiovisuals service in Russia in December, was expected to comply with a law that would require the streaming service to carry 20 Russian federal television channels, including Channel One and programming from the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, according to the Moscow Times.
But on Monday, Netflix said it would not follow the rule.
“Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” Netflix said in a statement. The Los Gatos company declined to elaborate.
Netflix, along with other entertainment companies, is distancing itself from Russian state outlets amid concerns about the proliferation of Russian propaganda and disinformation surrounding the invasion of Ukraine.
Media outlets have been ordered to remove reports that depict Russia’s attack on Ukraine as an “assault, invasion or declaration of war.”
Netflix is the latest U.S. based media company to respond to the crisis in eastern Europe.
On Monday, Walt Disney Co. said it would pause its theatrical releases in Russia and Facebook’s parent company, Meta, said it will restrict access to Russian state media such as RT in the European Union. Warner Bros. also said it wouldn’t release its upcoming movie “The Batman” in Russia.
The Motion Picture Assn. on Monday condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“On behalf of our member companies, who lead the film, TV and streaming industry, we express our strongest support for Ukraine’s vibrant creative community who, like all people, deserve to live and work peacefully,” the association said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation, working closely with our members and partners throughout the global creative sector.”
The Moscow Times reported on Dec. 21 that the law would affect Netflix in March.
Netflix, which has about 222 million subscribers, has fewer than 1 million subscribers in Russia, according to the Wall Street Journal.