All news

Freedom of speech only on paper: Russian diplomat reveals EU hypocrisy over accreditation

Over the past four years, the European Union’s mission in Moscow has been reluctant to list the requirements for the accreditation of Russian journalists planning to work in the EU, the diplomat stated
Russian Foreign Ministry's Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova Artyom Geodakyan/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry's Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. Over the past four years, the European Union’s mission in Moscow has been reluctant to provide a list of requirements for the accreditation of Russian journalists planning to work in the EU, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Wednesday.

According to the diplomat, there are countries that put media freedom at the forefront of their work. "And there are those countries, which declare their commitment to freedom of speech only on paper," Zakharova said on the sidelines of the fifth International Forum of Russian-Speaking Broadcasters.

"I’ll offer you a simple example. Over the past four years, we have been unable to obtain from the EU mission in Moscow a clear list of requirements for accrediting and granting visas to Russian journalists, who want to work in Europe," the spokeswoman specified.

"They tell us each time that every country has its own accreditation rules, but when we try to learn about these particular guidelines from a country, which is part of the EU, they also reject our request. Meanwhile, when Russian journalists cross the border and try to cover events, they tell them that they had violated some accreditation rules," Zakharova explained.

The diplomat noted that Russia’s law spells out absolutely clear criteria for granting visas to foreign journalists. "These criteria have been unchanged over the past couple of decades. So, actually we are committed to what we declare in public, namely to assisting journalistic activity, not through words, but by action," she stressed.

Russia provides foreign journalists with equal rights in having access to urgent information, without putting any obstacles in their way, and certainly, we uphold our legislation, without using it for exploiting cooperation with the media, Zakharova emphasized.