PANAMA CITY (PANAMA): The first Russian language TV station specifically aimed at Latin American is to begin broadcasting later this year, the
channel's backers said. The station dubbed Inter Russia TV Channel or ITR TV will hit the airwaves in Panama within four months, later expanding to cover the rest of the region. It will initially transmit 10 hours of programing each day, some with Spanish subtitles, later reaching an estimated half million Russian-speakers throughout Latin America. "It will generate a new cultural space, like the various channels from other countries that already reach Panama," the director of ITR TV, Luis Romero said. The venture comes against a backdrop of an increased Russian presence in Latin America. In September 2008, Russian Prime Minster Vladimir Putin vowed to make the region a foreign policy priority, shortly before sending a fleet of Russia warships to Venezuela to take part in joint military manoeuvres.