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Russian MFA sees Western media focus on Georgian protests, silence on Armenian rallies

According to Maria Zakharova, Western news media "forgive everything" to protesters in Georgia

MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. Western news media are giving wide coverage to the protests in Georgia, but keeping silent about the rallies in Armenia, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"We see that literally as if on cue, American and European media are using every opportunity to hype up the demonstrations in Georgia," she said at a news conference. "As for the thousands of people protesting in Armenia, it looks like the Western mainstream literally blots them out. It looks like it pretends that nothing is happening there."

According to the diplomat, Western news media "forgive everything" to protesters in Georgia. When writing about the rallies, Western news media "whitewash any unlawful actions and do not see any violation of law at all," she said.

"The events in Armenia are presented in Western news media as not reflecting the will of the Armenian people and allegedly being conducted from the outside. This is astonishing. How can it be that such an assessment is given? It is not even an assessment, but reporting that does not meet any standards," Zakharova said.

The Georgian legislature passed a bill on foreign agents in the third reading on May 14. It began considering the bill in April. Since then, people have been taking to the streets in protest. Several times the rallies escalated into clashes with the police, who used pepper gas and water cannons to disperse protesters.

The bill has been criticized by the US, EU, UN, NATO, OSCE and the Council of Europe. Leaders of Georgia's ruling party argue that it only serves to provide transparency of foreign funding for non-governmental organizations and news media. Georgian President Zourabichvili said she would veto the bill.