MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Journalists from all media outlets, including those designated as foreign agents, will get an opportunity to work at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming annual news conference on Thursday, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel.
"We have no restrictions regarding the president’s press conference. We have an open accreditation, and everyone who has applied and who complies with our law - and press activities are streamlined by the law on media… - [will have an opportunity to work]," the spokesman said.
He added that the law on media "in no way impedes journalistic work" and "just like in other countries, it only streamlines their activities and adds certain responsibilities."
He said that many US journalists were accredited for Thursday’s annual press conference by the Russian president. The reporters who came from United States were able to get a Russian visa under a simplified procedure and will have extra few days in Russia before and after the conference.
He said that unlike other governments, the Kremlin sets personal preferences aside when it comes to accrediting foreign media to its official events. In this respect, he recalled French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to bar media access to correspondents from Russia’s RT TV channel.
"We have profound respect for the French president, we appreciate his effort to develop Russian-French relations in spite of everything, but this is something that we cannot agree to. If we were guided by our president’s personal attitude to this or that global media outlet, [and] by their attitude to him, lots of media outlets would have been barred from our events," he said.
The spokesman added that although some foreign media outlets "transmit wrong or distorted information, demonize Putin, offend him personally," their correspondents "still have an opportunity to work freely in our country."
"Probably, this is what we are proud of and to what we draw the attention of our foreign partners as far as conditions for foreign reporters’ professional activities here are concerned," he said.
Peskov said French media outlets in Russia will not be designated as foreign agents.
"Everyone has an opportunity to work freely here, they are our big friends despite the fact that many of them demonstrate clear bias in their editorial policy," the spokesman continued. "On the other hand, we appreciate the impartial approach to news from our country by other French media.".