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US BBG chairman placed on stop list of persons denied entry into Russia

July 13, 21:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"On July 12, US citizen Jeffrey Shell was denied entry into Russia upon arriving at a Moscow airport
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Ryumin

MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. Chairman of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, Jeff Shell who was denied entry into Russia upon arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on July 12, has been placed on the Russian stop list of individuals denied entry into Russia for his role in steering anti-Russian propaganda, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a comment on Wednesday.

"On July 12, the US citizen Jeffrey Shell was denied entry into Russia upon arriving at a Moscow airport," the commentary said. "He had to board for another flights and leave."

"The person in question stands at the head of a broadcasting board, a government agency that governs the operations of US propagandist radion stations like the Voice of America and Radio Liberty," the ministry said.

"The cause of the denial is that Jeff Shell was placed on the stop list recently," it said. "Russian side has said on a number of occasions it is extending the list in respose to the introductions of Washington's sanctions against Russian officials under various highly contrived pretexts."

"For instance, the Barack Obama Administration has already closed access to the US territory to 70 Russian representatives, high-rank officials among them, on the pretext of the crisis in Ukraine," the commentary said.

If anyone in Washington expresses displeasure over anything in this situation, the root-cause of it is Washington’s own aggressive and shortsighted policy, the ministry said.

"Sanctions always work both ways," the commentary indicated. "Everyone imposing them on Russia should remember retaliation will be inescapable."

"It is particularly so in this specific case that concerns an organizer of a sweeping libelous anti-Russian propaganda campaign financed from the American budget, that is, conducted on the basis of political decisions taken in the US at top state level," the ministry said.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors said in a press release earlier on the same day Jeff Shell was detained at Sheremetyevo airport shortly before midnight upon arrival from Prague.

The BBG also said he was kept for several hours in a separate room and then accompanied by security officials to board a flight to Amsterdam.

"Mr. Shell is a Presidential appointee who serves in a part-time capacity as Chairman of the Board that oversees all US international media. He is also the chairman of NBCUniversal’s Filmed Entertainment Division," the press release said.

Shell told The Los Angeles Times later on from London that he had spent about three hours in the guarded room at Sheremetyevo.

"They never asked me any questions, they never took my cellphone, so I had my cellphone for the whole time, and they never looked through my stuff," he said.

He also told the BBG staff members accompanying him that airport’s security officials had ostensibly told him he had been assigned a permanent no-entry status in Russia and the ban on him would a life-time one.

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