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Kremlin vows to defend Russian media interests in Ukraine

May 15, 12:28 UTC+3

The Kremlin calls the steps by Ukraine’s Security Service against Russian media representatives 'outrageous'

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© Sergei Savostianov/TASS

SOCHI, May 15. /TASS/. Moscow will retaliate against steps of Ukraine’s Security Service against Russian media outlets, and will act persistently when defending the interests of journalists, Acting Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

"Tit-for-tat measures [after the detention of a staff member of Russian news agency in Kiev] will be certainly taken, but to say something more particularly we need to first get more detailed information," Peskov said.

"We will act in a competent manner but no doubt persistently and do our utmost to defend the interests of Russian mass media outlets," he stressed.

The steps by Ukraine’s Security Service against Russian media representatives are outrageous, he said. 

Commenting on the incident, Peskov said: "If these steps of Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies are somehow linked to professional activity of these mass media outlets, these are outrageous and flagrant steps, which run counter to all norms and rules and which deserve the harshest condemnation by international organizations."

"We will be looking forward to this tough and uncompromising reaction," he stressed.

"Now we only know that force is used against Russian mass media and measures have been taken on limiting the freedom of our journalists, as they do not get in touch, and this is enough for a harsh condemnation," he said.

The Ukrainian leadership and security agencies have used force against mass media outlets many times and suppressed the freedom of speech, Peskov noted. "We strongly condemn this," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) conducted searches at the Kiev office of Russian news agency RIA Novosti, a spokeswoman for the SBU, Elena Gitlyanskaya said. She also confirmed that the chief of the news agency’s office Kirill Vyshinsky was detained. The SBU issued a statement announcing that "a network of media structures, which Moscow used for carrying out a hybrid war" against Kiev has been uncovered.

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