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Top diplomat: Russia does not impose restrictions on Ukrainian journalists

May 29, 17:51 UTC+3

At the same time Lavrov acknowledged that Moscow had been forced to classify some US mass media outlets as foreign agents when RT and Sputnik were declared as such in the United States

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© Maxim Nikitin/TASS

MINSK, May 29. /TASS/. Russia does not take any retaliatory measures against Ukrainian journalists in retaliation for the persecution of Russian mass media in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"All Russian mass media have been closed down and outlawed in Ukraine. Journalists are being expelled and not allowed to enter the country," he said. "We take no retaliatory measures towards the Ukrainian media. The Ukrainian media covers Russian affairs in a very harsh way. Their journalists make rather aggressive statements when we arrange news conferences to which they are invited. But we do not bar anyone from communication or from Foreign Ministry accreditation."

At the same time Lavrov acknowledged that Moscow had been forced to classify some US mass media outlets as foreign agents as soon as the RT and Sputnik were declared as such in the United States.

"But this does not restrict their [US media outlets’] operation in Russia," he added.

Lavrov agreed that a certain degree of propaganda might be present in the mass media’s activity.

"But it is not the propaganda aspect that should worry those who control mass communications," he said. "In the corresponding international pacts on human rights, in particular, those concerning political and civilian rights, there is a legally binding provision that requires all signatories should take care of the freedom of speech and expression of opinion except for the cases that concern national security and the physical and moral health of society."

Lavrov emphasized the need for resistance to the terrorist threat.

"Professionals must devise ways of minimizing the risks terrorists may use the social networks and other digital technologies, but at the same time not infringe on the rights of normal citizens in the sphere of free communication," he added. "This can and must be done."

Lavrov hailed efforts aimed at preventing the social networks from being used by pedophiles and also for crude and outspoken dictating of "same sex values."

"We will do our utmost to ensure our Christian values and our Orthodox values should be protected from such threats," Lavrov said.

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