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Russian embassy condemns decision to bar RT from media conference

British organizers of the Global Conference for Media Freedom, due to take place in London in July, said the quota of journalists had already been reached

LONDON, July 5. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy in London has expressed its resolute disagreement to UK Foreign Office over the decision to deny accreditation for a global media freedom conference to Russia’s RT TV channel, a Russian embassy spokesperson told TASS on Friday.

"Upon receiving this information, the Embassy promptly contacted the Foreign Office and expressed resolute disagreement with the decision. It amounts to direct politically motivated discrimination of the Russian channel. The refusal of accreditation comes on top of the months-long smear campaign against RT by British political figures, governmental bodies, including media regulator Ofcom, and even fellow journalists," the spokesperson said.

According to the embassy, British organizers of the Global Conference for Media Freedom, due to take place in London on 10-11 July, said the quota of journalists invited to the Conference had already been reached. "And that despite the fact that RT had sent the request several weeks ago and has long been trying, unsuccessfully, to get a meaningful reply," the embassy said.

Earlier, the Russian embassy has already voiced its concern over some deficiencies in the organization of the Conference.

"For example, delegations are not allowed to work on its final document: it is being drafted secretly by a limited group of states. Despite having sent an official invitation to the Russian side to take part in the Conference, the FCO failed to invite Embassy representatives to a dedicated briefing for the diplomatic corps - "for technical reasons". Now a leading Russian international TV channel is denied access to the forum, despite being officially registered and working in the UK, on legal grounds," the embassy said.

"What better illustration of the real situation with media freedom in the UK does one need? Yet the organizers of the Conference, as far as we understand, wish to discuss the situation with media freedom anywhere in the world, but not in this country," it said.

The Global Conference for Media Freedom, due to take place in the UK capital on July 10-11. It will be chaired by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. It will focus on protecting journalists’ rights and increasing the cost to those who are attempting to restrict them, as well as on countering disinformation and other issues.