A new TV channel aimed at Russian speakers has been launched today in Estonia, funded by the Estonian government.
Forming part of Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR), ETV+ is the only government channel broadcasting exclusively in Russian. Programming will centre around Estonia-related topics and issues.
ETV+ Editor-in-Chief Darja Saar described the channel as an attempt to reach out to Russian speakers in Estonia and include them in the news narrative.
“Have [Russian-speaking] people here in Estonia really been participating in the public sphere? Really? No, we don’t participate. ETV+ is first and foremost a platform to offer different points of view,” she told Reuters.
It has also been speculated that the new channel is intended to counter the influence of Russian government-funded TV channels watched by a Russian-speaking audience in Estonia. Reports indicate that the annual budget for ETV+ will total around €4 million.
Estonia’s Russian-speaking minority comprises around 300,000 people, making up approximately a quarter of the country’s population.