SOCHI, May 16. /TASS/. Moscow strongly opposes the Ukrainian authorities’ actions against Russian journalists but does not question Ukrainian media outlets’ right to work in Russia, Acting Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a briefing in reply to a question about the Ukrainian Security Service’s operation against the RIA Novosti Ukraine news agency’s staff.
"Russia strongly opposes such actions against its citizens, particularly media workers, when such actions… are based on their professional activities," Peskov said. "Russia will definitely take prompt retaliatory measures," he added.
At the same time, he stressed that Ukrainian journalists were free to work in Russia. "In response to your question as to whether it is safe for Ukrainian journalists to work in Russia, I will say that it is totally safe," Peskov said, addressing a Ukrainian reporter. "For all these difficult years, no one has been limiting your activities in Russia, we have maintained dialogue with you," he noted. "Unfortunately, Russian journalists working in Ukraine cannot say the same," the Kremlin spokesman added.
On May 15, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) carried out a large-scale operation against RIA Novosti Ukraine staff members, accusing them of high treason. The news agency’s Chief Editor Kirill Vyshinsky was detained outside his home early on Tuesday. Soon after that, searches were conducted in the news agency’s Kiev office and press center, as well as in some journalists’ apartments. At the same time, the SBU issued a statement claiming that "a network of media structures, which Moscow used for carrying out a hybrid war" against Kiev had been exposed.