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BBC office fails to confirm data from its own publication - Russian diplomat

December 30, 2018, 21:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to Maria Zakharova, the office’s employees only "passed the buck to London saying that the entire information originates from there"

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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Valery Sharufulin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. The British broadcaster BBC’s Moscow office has once again failed to confirm that it filed a complaint with the Russian foreign ministry following publication of the list of its 44 employees, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.

"On Sunday morning, we contacted the BBC office where we ran into a very strange situation because the office said it could not confirm data from its own publication. We asked to tell us when the complaint was lodged and by whom to, at least, figure out what the whole thing was about. As a result, correspondents from the office, or, to be more precise, not correspondents but office employees, were unable to say when and where the complaint was filed," she said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

According to the Russian diplomat, the office’s employees only "passed the buck to London saying that the entire information originates from there." What is now going on there is paradox and absurd, she stressed.

"It looks like everything is being choreographed from London and the game is played by London, the head corporation or someone else for the head corporation," she said. "While correspondents in Moscow are absolutely unaware of what kind of a London game they are taking part in."

On Saturday, the BBC said on its website that it had lodged an official complaint with the Russian foreign ministry following publication of a list of 44 employees of the BBC Moscow office on the news and entertainment portal Pikabu on December 25. A number of Russian mass media carried similar reports quoting the original source. The BBC claimed that this information was only available to the Russian foreign ministry.

Jamie Angus, Director of BBC World Service Group, posted a statement on his Twitter account to express concern over the disclosure of personal data about BBC Moscow staff that were "shared with the Russian authorities as part of our lawful operation in Russia" and ask the Russian authorities to investigate this situation.

By now, the Russian foreign ministry’s spokeswoman has posted on its Facebook account two publications saying that the Russian foreign ministry has received no such complaints. She slammed BBC’s report on Saturday as "yet another fake.".

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