UK police
© Reuters/Kevin Coomb
Police wait outside Buckingham Palace ahead of the NATO summit in London.
The accreditation of RT's Ruptly video agency at the NATO summit in London was withdrawn without any explanation, while its producer was detained by UK police and questioned under the Terrorism Act.

NATO's 70th anniversary gathering, which took place in the British capital on Tuesday and Wednesday, was a big event and Ruptly, of course, couldn't ignore it. The agency applied for press credentials beforehand and received an accreditation approval letter via email.

So the assigned producer went to routinely pick up his pass to be able to film at the summit. The organizers asked him to wait in the lobby where "he was approached by a plain clothed man, who presented a police warrant and requested he went in for questioning," Ekaterina Mavrenkova, Ruptly chief content officer, told RT on air.

The producer said he was detained and interrogated under the Terrorism Act, with the officers searching him and his belongings. Before being released, the man was told that Ruptly's accreditation at the NATO summit had been revoked.


Mavrenkova said the whole situation came as a "complete surprise" for the agency, which does extensive coverage in the UK, including state events.

NATO's accreditation procedure reserves the right to revoke credentials even if they were already confirmed in exceptional circumstances, she said. "So, what kind of 'exceptional circumstances' we're talking about here remains unclear to us. We filed a formal request for clarification right after the incident, but we haven't heard back from them yet."

In 2016, Ruptly was also barred from an event, organized by the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, Mavrenkova recalled. The military organization explained back then that it denied the agency accreditation because it was part of RT.

"As they said, they don't consider RT to be a journalist organization," Mavrenkova recalled. But RT reporters have been working "with no problems" at the current summit in London, so the logic behind NATO's actions remains unclear.