Lavrov denounces discrimination against Russian media in France

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MOSCOW – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he discussed with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian the harassment of Sputnik and RT in Paris and stressed the inadmissibility of discriminating against Russian media.

“The situation is not very optimistic, the correspondents of RT France and Sputnik still have no accreditation before the Elysee Palace [headquarters of the French Presidency], if that does not changed in the next couple of days,” he said when speaking before the students of the Moscow International Relations Institute (MGIMO).

The foreign minister said that he had raised this issue during the visit of the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, to France, noting that such treatment of journalists contradicts “all the norms of civilized conduct and the agreements approved on numerous occasions within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe “(OSCE).

According to the rules in force in the OSCE, citizens of any member country have the right to have access to information both within their country and abroad and that the member States of this organization do not to impede the free flow of the information, he recalled.

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Russia raises the problem of discrimination against Russian media in France and other Western countries before the Council of Europe and the OSCE, he said.

Lavrov described as a positive act the fact that the OSCE representative for press freedom, Harlem Desir, has begun to devote more attention lately to the need to ensure an equitable study of the problems that arise in this matter in one or another OSCE country.

In November 2016, the European Parliament passed a resolution that calls for counteracting the work of the Russian media, among which it pointed to Sputnik and RT as the main threat.

Several Western politicians, including US senators and congressmen, and also the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, accused both media of interfering in the US and French elections, without offering any evidence in this regard.

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