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Lavrov: German TV admits meddling guilt, says actions ‘inappropriate’ during protests

Russia sees no need to impose restrictions on operation of Western media, according to the top diplomat
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov  Alexander Shcherbak/TASS
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, November 6. /TASS/. Russia sees no need for or the possibility of imposing any restrictions on any Western media, including Germany’s broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Conference on Freedom of the Media and Safety of Journalists in the Russian Federation and the OSCE Region: Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Age.

"Let me say once again that we do not find it necessary or possible to impose any restrictions," Lavrov said in reply to the journalists’ question.

"In this respect, if you wish, we would like to honor our obligations we are talking about — the freedom of journalism and the freedom of speech, in contrast to those countries which outlaw the RT, Sputnik and other our resources and pose serious obstructions to their activity, keep them away and deny accreditation," Lavrov stated.

Representatives of the German TV and radio broadcaster Deutsche Welle have acknowledged their ‘inappropriate’ actions during this summer’s unauthorized mass protests in Moscow, the Russian top diplomat noted.

"We invited representatives of Deutsche Welle. [Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman] Maria Zakharova talked with them. They admitted that this was inappropriate from the perspective of those events, which were taking place in Moscow at that time. It’s one thing to cover them, but having a hand in their arrangement is something entirely different. In actual fact, they took part in preparing these unauthorized demonstrations, prodding people and even sometimes drumming them up to participate in them," Lavrov specified. "Possibly, this is not a function of a media outlet."

Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said certain attempts at meddling in Russia’s internal affairs by US and German government-run media, including Deutsche Welle, had been identified in connection with their coverage of unauthorized demonstrations in Moscow.

Violations of Russian journalists’ rights in OSCE space

The violations of rights of Russian journalists and discrimination of media resources in the OSCE space are becoming ever more frequent, the top diplomat told the conference.

"This issue is very acute. Regrettably, violations of journalists’ rights and discrimination against media resources are becoming ever more widely spread in the OSCE countries," Lavrov said. "This practice runs counter to the Helsinki Final Act, the Vienna meetings of the OSCE Conference of 1986 and the Copenhagen agreement [of 1990] and Moscow agreement [of 1991]."

By signing the aforesaid agreements, Lavrov stated, the participants pledged to promote the freedom of information, including that coming from abroad, and also to improve conditions for the professional activity of foreign journalists at home.

Lavrov stressed that in the current situation a number of countries, in particular, those which "position themselves as samples of democracy, crudely violate the assumed OSCE commitments to ensure the freedom of mass media, expression of opinion and equal access to information, demonstrating intolerance to alternative points of view."

"Deep alarm is caused by attempts to sidestep the universally recognized international platforms to dictate to the world community non-transparent and non-inclusive initiatives to control the media and the Internet," he concluded.