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Russia hopes EU will not follow Kiev’s example in restricting journalists — EU envoy

March 20, 2015, 16:13 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
Alternative opinions and alternative judgments about the situation in Ukraine will soon be automatically classified as a misinformation campaign
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Shemetov

BRUSSELS, March 20. /TASS/. EU’s decision to fight the so-called "misinformation" by Russia on the situation in Ukraine can become another irritant in the relations between Moscow and Brussels, Russian Ambassador to EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Friday.

"Statements about some misinformation campaigns from the Russian side are clearly unfounded. But concrete steps that they [EU] are planning to take to counter what they consider to be such campaigns are probably serious because, in fact, it equals countering objective information. Here, I see a principally new problem in our relations with the European Union, a new irritant. Alternative opinions and alternative judgments about the situation in Ukraine will soon be automatically classified as a misinformation campaign," Chizhov said.

"The actions of the West and Ukrainian authorities will obviously be presented as the ultimate truth," the diplomat said. "The situation on this track may be quite complicated," he added.

Chizhov expressed hope that the EU will not follow Kiev’s example in relations with the media. "We will not do what the Ukrainian authorities are doing, [we will not] ban journalists from entering [Russia], suspending their accreditations and closing undesirable channels. I hope that EU countries will not take this outdated way," he stressed.

In late January, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the EU could create the Russian-language media. Later spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said the European Commission would prepare by the March summit the ideas on establishing media aimed at the Russian-language speaking audience in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and the EU countries.

Russia’s EU ambassador Vladimir Chizhov told TASS in November 2014 that a campaign to demonize Russia in Western media was a manifestation of information war.

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