The European Union is criticizing Azerbaijan's ban on international radio broadcasts.
The ban, which begins Thursday, affects Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Voice of America and the BBC.
EU official Benita Ferrero-Waldner says it will deprive listeners of "valuable and independent sources of information." She says the EU's commitment to increase economic and other ties with Azerbaijan hinges on respect for democracy and human rights.
The Today.Az web site quotes Nushirevan Meherrem, head of Azerbaijan's national broadcasting council, as saying Tuesday that broadcast licenses for the BBC, Voice of America and Radio Liberty in the country won't be renewed in 2009.
The EU's criticism Wednesday echoed remarks the U.S. government made a day earlier.
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