The U.S. government is providing support to Netflix — which became available in Russia in January 2016 — as part of an effort to “get into every television” in the world, Russia’s culture minister Vladimir Medinsky stated in an interview with Rambler News Service (RNS).

Netflix has developed its business with the support of the US government, including money and grants, Medinsky reminded.

“And, what, you thought these gigantic startups emerge by themselves? One little college student sits down, has himself an idea, and billions of dollars just rain down from above?!” the minister asked.

“As it turns out, our ideological friends [the U.S. government] are well aware of what constitutes the most important of all art forms,” said Medinsky, referring to cinema as defined by Vladimir Lenin in the early days of Soviet Russia. “They understand how to enter everyone’s homes by getting into every television with the help of Netflix. And through this television, [they get into] the heads of everyone on Earth.”

“But we [in Russia] don’t grasp this,” Medinsky added — in spite of the popularity of many U.S. movies and TV programs in Russia.

Advertising invasion

Last month, RNS also reported, Medinsky complained that Disney was invading the Russian advertising market.

The weakening of the ruble (from around 30 rubles per USD in 2013 to around 65 today) has had a negative impact on Russian filmmakers, but played in favor of their foreign counterparts, said the minister at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi.

“High expenses on Russian cinema unfortunately relies in the currency. At the same time, Disney is coming for us. Disney used to spend a million dollars on the advancement of a film — which represented 30 million rubles; but today, it spends a million dollars — twice as much. It is flooding our market with advertisement, literally flooding it” — Medinsky stated.

A part of Medinsky’s quotes were translated into English by Russian online publication Meduza.

This post first appeared on East-West Digital News.


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