Although RT (Russia Today) is to receive additional subsidies, plans to launch French and German versions of the service are to remain on hold.

According to Vedomosti, the State Duma has approved increased funding for several state-run media this year, among them RT and the news agency TASS.

Amendments were adopted in a second reading, with a third and final reading due this Friday (April 10).

They will see RT’s grant this year increased by R5.5 billion (€91.5 million) to R21 billion.

This follows a 10% overall reduction in media subsidies at the beginning of this year.

Quoting Margarita Simonyan, chief editor at RT, Vedomosti adds that the additional funds will be used to repay debts to foreign contractors.

RT spent around $260 million on the distribution of its signals in various countries in 2014, with the entire budget for the station being about $445 million.

However, with the fall in the rate of the ruble to the dollar, the budget was effectively cut to only $236 million.

This has resulted in the cost of paying partner networks being now more than RT’s entire budget.

As a result, RT has had to stop broadcasting in several countries and has accumulated debts.

Plans to launch French and German versions on the service are frozen “and it is not clear when we will be able to return to them”.

The additional funds should help RT maintain its previous level of service with minimum cuts.