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Baltic States resort to ban tactics in relations with Russia — Russian Foreign Ministry

September 15, 2015, 17:59 UTC+3

It seems the Baltic States authorities have resorted to the tactics of bans on the work of journalists and media outlets falling out of line of the mainstream approved from above, Moscow says

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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, September 15 /TASS/. The tactics of denying entry to Russian journalists shows the true worth of the Baltic States’ declared commitment to the principles of democracy and freedom of speech, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement on Tuesday.

"The EU has constantly been wailing of the need to be committed to freedom of speech. Regrettably, we need to state — against this background — that this important principle is being literally ignored on a daily basis to suit political ambitions," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"It seems that the authorities in the neighboring Baltic States who feel they are impotent to preserve control over the media space have resorted to the tactics of bans on the work of separate journalists and media outlets, which fall out of line of the mainstream approved from above," the ministry said.

Estonia has recently denied entry to Maria Perekryostova, the head of the multimedia programs direction of the Rossiya Segodnya media holdings who planned to organize the work of the agency’s journalists in Estonia. Maria was banned entrance at Tallinn airport, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"They did not give any clear and coherent explanations to their decision despite the fact that the media holdings has all the licenses for operation in Estonia," the Russian Foreign Ministry went on to say.

"A similar case has taken place in Lithuania where the authorities suddenly announced Komsomolskaya Pravda’s journalist Galina Sapozhnikova an undesirable person who threatens the country’s state security," the Russian Foreign Ministry explained.

"A ban to open a Rossiya Segodnya office in Latvia fits well into the general picture of actions to restrict media freedom," the ministry’s statement said.

"In short, a coordinated policy of the Baltic States is obvious. They automatically regard any person linked to Russian media to some degree as a foe and a target for persecution," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

"These cases clearly demonstrate the true worth of demagogical statements made by Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn about commitment to the principles of democracy and freedom of speech. Naturally, we are going to take account of these unfriendly moves in our bilateral relations with these countries," the Russian Foreign Ministry concluded.

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