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Dismissal order for Echo of Moscow radio host canceled - station owner

November 20, 2014, 1:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The statement was circulated after a meeting between Gazprom Media head Mikhail Lesin and Echo of Moscow chief editor Alexey Venediktov
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Alexander Plyushchev

Alexander Plyushchev

© ITAR-TASS/Anatolii Strunin

MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. The order for dismissal of Russian liberal radio station Echo of Moscow host Alexander Plyushchev for a controversial tweet has been canceled, Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom’s media arm Gazprom Media, which owns a majority stake in the station, said in a statement Wednesday.

The statement was circulated after a meeting between Gazprom Media head Mikhail Lesin and Echo of Moscow chief editor Alexey Venediktov. Simultaneously, Venediktov filed representations to suspend Plyushchev as radio host until January 14, 2015.

Besides, the labor contract of the chief editor will be supplemented with provisions to increase his personal responsibility for correspondence of media-circulated materials to current law requirements, the statement said.

The charter of the editorial office will be supplemented with provisions to establish the rules of conduct of staff employees in social networks. The working group to draft the document will include editorial staff and Gazprom Media, as a similar practice will be introduced in all media of the holding company. Changes will be drafted by the end of 2014.

On November 5, Plyushchev posted in his Twitter microblog a controversial question about the recent death of deputy chairman of state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB) Alexander Ivanov, who is a son of Russian presidential administration chief Sergey Ivanov. Later the journalist removed the tweet and apologized.

On November 6, Gazprom Media circulated a report that the management of the Echo of Moscow station decided to terminate the labor contract with Plyushchev “in connection with violation by the journalist of all acceptable moral and ethical norms.”

“The order on Plyushchev’s dismissal is out of line with the Echo of Moscow charter. In line with the document, no journalist may be fired without a representation and signature of the chief editor,” a response statement on the radio station’s website said.

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