Brussels, Belgium – The European Union has recently clarified its stance regarding rumors of sanctions against the former Fox News host Tucker Carlson for his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Contrary to speculation fueled by comments from high-profile figures like Elon Musk, the EU has officially stated that there are no ongoing discussions about imposing sanctions on Carlson. This clarification came directly from Peter Stano, the spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, emphasizing the EU’s procedural confidentiality and the absence of any current talks targeting the broadcaster within EU bodies.
The speculation had gained traction earlier when Guy Verhofstadt, a member of the European Parliament and former Prime Minister of Belgium, suggested exploring a travel ban against Carlson for allegedly aiding Putin’s disinformation campaign. This statement led to widespread conjecture about potential EU actions against Carlson.
Addressing the EU’s sanctioning process, Stano highlighted the rigorous and unanimous agreement required from all 27 member states to add individuals or entities to the sanctions list. He pointed out the EU’s history of sanctioning around 2,000 people and entities, including Russian media outlets like RT and Sputnik, for their role in supporting Russia’s military aggression through disinformation campaigns.
The backdrop to this controversy is Carlson’s position as the first Western journalist to interview Putin since the Ukrainian conflict began, marking a significant moment in media. Carlson had earlier said on X he wanted to do this interview because “Americans have a right to know all they can about a war they are implicated in”.