EU to ban Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (L) and European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell give a joint press statement on further measures to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at the European Commission in Brussels. Xavier Lejeune/European Commission/dpa
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (L) and European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell give a joint press statement on further measures to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at the European Commission in Brussels. Xavier Lejeune/European Commission/dpa

The European Union is to ban the Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

She described the channels as being "the Kremlin's media machine" and said they were being used to spread Russian President Vladimir Putin's lies to justify his war against Ukraine.

Several of the 27 EU countries have already taken measures against Russian state media.

Latvia and Estonia blocked a number of Russian-language channels in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while RT - formerly known as Russia Today - was taken off Austrian airways on Sunday.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen holds a press statement on further measures to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at the European Commission in Brussels. Xavier Lejeune/European Commission/dpa
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen holds a press statement on further measures to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at the European Commission in Brussels. Xavier Lejeune/European Commission/dpa