Lawmakers had reportedly claimed that the bloc could place restrictions on the American journalist for interviewing Vladimir Putin
The EU has no plans to sanction American journalist Tucker Carlson over his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, TASS reports, citing sources. The much-anticipated face-to-face has been confirmed by the Kremlin and is expected to be aired at 6pm EST (11pm GMT) on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Newsweek magazine, citing several current and former EU lawmakers, reported that Brussels could ban the former Fox News host from visiting countries in the bloc. MEP Guy Verhofstadt, who once served as Belgian prime minister, suggested that the EU could look into Carlson’s case, given that Brussels sanctions anyone who assists Russian President Vladimir Putin – who he called a “war criminal.”
Carlson said he wanted to talk to Putin because it is his “duty to inform people,” especially with regard to the Ukraine conflict, since the US provides support for Kiev. He added that many Western media outlets “lie to their readers and viewers” by promoting Kiev’s position while downplaying Russia’s.
Commenting on the Newsweek report, a TASS source in the EU Council stressed that sanctions against Carlson are off the table for now. He explained that this would require a legal basis proving that a person “is threatening and undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
“We have no serious reasons to blacklist this journalist at this stage,” the source added.
The rumors of potential EU sanctions against Carlson also outraged American billionaire and X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk. “One may agree with Tucker or not, but he is a major American journalist and such an action would greatly offend the American public,” he wrote. Musk previously promised not to suppress the Putin interview on his platform.
Carlson earlier claimed that the administration of US President Joe Biden attempted to stop him from traveling from Moscow and interviewing Putin. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the allegations “ridiculous.”