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Netflix Said to Pause All Projects, Acquisitions in Russia Amid Ukraine Crisis



Netflix has temporarily stopped all future projects and acquisitions in Russia as it assesses the impact of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The streaming giant had four Russian-language series in production and post-production, including Zato, a detective drama.

Russia has been facing boycott in the film and TV industry. The Cannes film festival issued a statement on Tuesday saying it would ban official Russian delegations from its 2022 festival unless the Ukraine conflict ends.

Earlier this week, Netflix said that in the current circumstances it has no plans to add state-run channels to its Russian service, despite a regulation that would require it to distribute state-backed channels.

“Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” said a Netflix spokesman in a statement, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Netflix, which launched its service in Russia in October 2020, would fall under the new Russian regulations requiring compliance on March 1. The regulations, overseen by Russia’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, require audiovisual services with more than 100,000 subscribers in that country to distribute 20 free-to-air news, sports, and entertainment channels.

The Netflix spokesman declined to comment on timing or whether the company has held conversations with Russian regulators. It is unclear how the service will be impacted by its decision.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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