MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. Russia’s foreign ministry plans to turn to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) over media reports about BBC’s seeking to find evidence of Russia’s involvement in the ongoing protests in France, ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said on Sunday.
A number of media outlets reported earlier that in her communication with a stringer covering riots in France a BBC correspondent tried to find evidence of Russia’s involvement in the Yellow Vests movement. Grassroots protests triggered by the growth of gasoline prices, taxes and the cost of living have been rocking France since November 17.
"We will ask this question to international structures. Tomorrow we will refer a corresponding letter to the OSCE to draw its attention to that," she said, adding that the actions of the BBC journalists are seen as an "absolutely appalling fact."
"It is the United Kingdom that keeps on saying that the Russian mass media, Russian television channels are indulging in propaganda but gives no facts to prove it, only saying that British public activists are filing complaints to Ofcom, a media regulator, and they have to react and reproach our mass media and journalists for alleged unprofessional behavior," Zakharova noted. "Now I have a question to these British media regulators: what do they think about this compilation of facts journalists of their tele and radio companies are indulging in?"
"Now it is not about double standards, it is not about politically motivated actions, it is about open propaganda. In this case, it is a flagrant compilation, an attempt to find puzzle pieces for a bigger picture. No doubt of that," she said. "Now we see how journalists of the BBC corporation work."
The Russian diplomat stressed that the fact that the UK’s government media are seeking to picture grassroots riots over France’s domestic problems as the Kremlin’s meddling is inadmissible in relations between allies. She drew attention to the fact that the United Kingdom is still a member of the European Union and shares a common foreign policy with other member nations. "How can they do such things in respect of their own neighbor?," she exclaimed.
"Lavish financing is now allocated in Brussels to counteract some mythic Russian propaganda. So, I think this colossal money, at least a part of it, must go to counteract, for instance, BBC’s propaganda," she added.