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MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry expects the Reuters news agency to clarify its complaints regarding the working conditions of its journalists in the country, the ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday.
"We have seen Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler’s message to staff, which concerns covering the new US president’s activities," Zakharova noted. "Although we do not usually comment on editorial directives, we could not but take notice of one paragraph," she went on to say. "The implication is that Reuters considers Russia to be one of the countries where the agency has to ‘encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats’ to its journalists."
"We don’t divide journalists into good and bad, we don’t refuse to issue visas, we don’t deprive them of visas or accreditation only because we don’t like their style or find them to be biased," the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman stressed. "I expect Reuters to clarify the matter."
At the same time, she said that Russia’s Foreign Ministry would have not commented on this message if it had not been made public through the Reuters website and had not mentioned the agency’s work in Russia. The diplomat was confident that Reuters had deliberately posted the message "thus turning it into some kind of a manifesto."
According to Zakharova, when the Russian Foreign Ministry contacted Reuters, the agency declined to comment. She also pointed out that the Reuters correspondents accredited in Russia took part in closed weekly briefings at the Foreign Ministry as well as in other media events, however, they had not voiced their concerns even once.