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Foreign Ministry comments on attack on Russian TV crew

June 10, 20:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian Foreign Ministry will have to defend journalists from representatives of free foreign media, the spokeswoman says, commenting on German ARD TV journalist attack on a Russian reporter
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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

MOSCOW, June 10 /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry will have to defend Russian journalists from representatives of free foreign media, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said commenting on the recent attack on a Russian TV crew in Germany.

German journalist Hajo Seppelt, the author of a series of documentaries on doping in Russian sports, attacked a shooting crew of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) who wanted to interview him.

"We, the Foreign Ministry, have always defended and will continue defending Russian journalists," Zakharova said. "But I have never thought that at this historical stage we will have to protect Russian journalists from assaults by state structures, extremists and representatives of political movements in some foreign countries," the Russian diplomat said.

However, she added, the reality has changed. "It is the first time that I see a representative of free press, a man, who attacks a journalist who, in addition to all, is a representative of the fair sex. I understand that journalists should be strong but there should be a limit," Zakharova explained.

"The female journalist did not ask a single question, which could humiliate the honor or dignity of man in any way. Nor did she insult his [Seppelt’s] political, religious or any other convictions. The only thing, which [Olga] Skabeyeva did, was to ask for the papers proving what is of relation to our country in general," the Russian diplomat said.

ARD television journalist Hayo Seppelt has made a series of documentaries on doping abuse by Russian athletes.The Kremlin press service said, in turn, that Seppelt’s film consisted of little convincing facts.

VGTRK journalist Olga Skabeyeva was attacked in Cologne. The TV crew wanted to interview Seppelt who agreed to receive the Russian journalists. After some time, he interrupted the interview. The Vesti.ru website reported that Seppelt had seized the microphone, threw it behind the door and ousted the journalists. He also threatened to smash their TV camera.

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