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UK reporters support Russian counterparts in wake of diplomatic tensions

The National Union of Journalists in the UK and Ireland believe that the work of journalists should not be politicized or dragged into prospective sanctions

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Journalists from Ireland and the UK believe reporters' activity should not be politicized or subjected to sanctions in spite of fluctuations of the geopolitical situation, says a letter the chairman of the Russian Association of Journalists, Vladimir Solovyov, received from Michelle Sanistreet, the General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists [NUJ] in the UK and Ireland.

"I am writing in relation to the ongoing situation between the British and Russian governments, and the consequential impact on our respective communities of journalists," she wrote.

"The NUJ believes it is important that we send a strong message to reaffirm our position that, whatever the geo-political dynamics now or in the future, it is vital that journalists are free to go about their work without fears of interference or reprisals," Michelle Stanistreet wrote. "We strongly believe the work of journalists should not be politicized or dragged into prospective sanctions."

"Ensuring that journalists and media workers are able to work freely, without interference or becoming casualties of any crackdown on press freedom is, I am sure, a shared principle of both our unions," she indicated.

On March 12, the Russian Association of Journalists put up an official statement on its homepage saying that the Russian journalists working in the UK found themselves in the situation of a psychological overstress hindering their professional duties after the incident in Salisbury, UK, where a former Russian army officer and British spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia underwent the impact of a nerve agent. Following the incident, the British media embarked on a frantic anti-Russan campaign on the background of the absence of any conclusive evidence on who might have ordered or executed the assault.

In part, the association wrote that Russian reporters accredited in the UK had begun to get letters containing threats to their health and lives.