22 October 2021
Moscow: 15:20
London: 13:20

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1328 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1320 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Russia's MFA Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the situation concerning BBC Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford.

The official London, as represented by Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas Wendy Morton and the UK’s diplomatic mission in Moscow, have chosen to link the non-renewal of the Russian visa and accreditation for BBC Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford with “the deteriorating situation with media freedom in Russia,” cynically turning the whole situation on its head. We have to state that these assertions are false.

Moreover, they reveal a tight propaganda nexus linking the British Foreign Office and the BBC, which is sponsored by the British government: the factual part is hushed up and replaced by groundless accusations and Russophobic clichés.

Now that the British side has once again been caught red-handed as it spread disinformation in Russia, we can recount the real background of this story. Actually, both the official London and the BBC are perfectly aware of it. In fact, this is a practical example of what was contained in the so-called British Files, which surfaced online six months ago: London’s funding, via the Foreign Office, of suitable media outlets to spread their propaganda using their network.

The tale goes back to the summer of 2019, when a Russian news agency correspondent and his family had to leave the United Kingdom after waiting for a eighteen months to have their visa renewed. They never got either the visa or an explanation of why they were treated this way.

This was done despite their strict compliance with all British legal requirements. Attempts by the Russian media outlet to send other correspondents to replace him also failed: the UK rejected their visa applications, again without giving any explanation.

Russian officials of different levels have repeatedly said that such an approach is unacceptable and warned that that we will not tolerate it. We urged our colleagues to reconsider their discriminatory treatment of the Russian news agency in particular and the Russian media in general. We pointed out that otherwise we would have no choice but to respond in kind. Rather than hearing our insistent recommendations, London continued to escalate tensions by adopting a series of absolutely groundless personal sanctions against Russian nationals.

Let me stress again: unlike the British initiative, this step is being taken by Russia purely as a response. It has nothing to do with restricting the freedom of speech.

The decision regarding the British correspondent matches London’s action described above in relation to her Russian colleagues. Therefore, Sarah Rainsford has only her own compatriots to thank for her forthcoming departure from Russia.

In our view, upon her return home, she should also investigate how well the Russian journalist’s case and the general discrimination against the Russian media on the British soil correspond to the high ideals of media freedom our British colleagues unashamedly preach. Moreover, they go so far as reproach us for neglecting them. This is not just about regular repressions and slander against Russian media outlets. The practice of denying Russian journalists accreditation to various events has become routine (in 2019 alone Sputnik correspondents were not allowed to cover the Conservative Party’s conference and, funnily enough, the Global Conference for Media Freedom).

Russian media outlets are not only accused, without the slightest grounds, of spreading disinformation; they are threatened with having their bank accounts closed and their property seized (the authoritative Times reported on such calls from Scotland’s legislature in 2018.) Deliberate disclosure of our journalists’ personal data is now the new normal (also done by The Times). Meanwhile, the attitude towards Russian journalists in the UK is bordering on obnoxious, though this is fairly common in the Anglo-Saxon world.

We once again suggest that London should revise its policy of replacing media freedom with propaganda and stop its practice of pressurising the media and discriminating against journalists. And the culmination of the story. Sarah told journalists: “I’ve been told that I can’t come back, ever.”

First, she wasn’t told this. A journalist, even a British one, who has lived, according to her own estimates, a third of her life in Russia, ought to understand the difference between “never come back” and “recall the journalist visa and accreditation indefinitely.” Actually, we have long become accustomed to such manipulation with information.

Second, once the Russian correspondent is issued a visa, so will Sarah. This is exactly what we proposed by urging London to resolve the visa deadlock for journalists.


20.10.2021 - Joint Statement of the Participants in the Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan, Moscow, 20 October 2021

Joint Statement of the Participants in the Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan.

19.10.2021 - Foreign Ministry statement on response measures to NATO decisions regarding the Russian Permanent Mission to NATO in Brussels, October 18, 2021

On October 6, 2021, the NATO Secretariat officially announced NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s decision to withdraw the accreditation of eight members of the Russian Permanent Mission to NATO on November 1, 2021, as well as to reduce the overall number of mission personnel to 10. No reason for this decision has been provided.

10.10.2021 - Embassy comment on the article in ‘The Sun’ newspaper

We express our utter indignation at the article in ‘The Sun’ claiming that a ‘Russian spy’ was present at the recent Conservative Party Conference. This low-grade scoop is of no surprise though, as we got used to this kind of disinformation being produced by the British media.

03.10.2021 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 29th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (CFDP), Moscow, October 2, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 29th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy, Moscow.

01.10.2021 - Joint Statement on the Outcomes of the U.S. – Russia Strategic Stability Dialogue in Geneva on September 30

Today in Geneva, interagency delegations from the United States and the Russian Federation convened for the second meeting of the bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue since President Biden and President Putin committed to an integrated, deliberate, and robust process in June. The United States delegation was led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman, and the Russian delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. The discussion was intensive and substantive.

29.09.2021 - Foreign Ministry statement on the permanent deletion by YouTube of RT’s German-language projects

YouTube, a video hosting service, has committed an act of unprecedented information aggression against RT media holding’s German-language projects with the obvious tacit consent of Germany, if not at its insistence.

21.09.2021 - Embassy comment on the new ‘development’ in the investigation of the Salisbury incident

It is worth noting that immediately after the incident in Salisbury Russia suggested that a comprehensive and transparent cooperation by law enforcement agencies of the two countries would allow to establish the facts of what had happened. Instead, the UK chose to conduct investigation unilaterally and behind closed doors. Now, we hear once again that yet another Russian national was, as a ‘member of the GRU’, allegedly involved in the attempted murder. Just as was the case with earlier claims made during this investigation, neither the public nor Russia have been provided with concrete evidence. To present the fact of a certain individual entering or leaving the UK on particular dates in March 2018 as a newly obtained information is nothing but laughable.

21.09.2021 - Embassy comment on the British reaction to the Russian State Duma elections

It is symptomatic that our British counterparts plainly ignore the many positive developments in our electoral system. These include online voting used for the first time at the national level, as well as new steps taken to strengthen the system of civic control over elections, including observers at polling stations, live video streaming, speedy publication of results by polling station. Rather than recognising these achievements of the civil society, the UK continues with hollow claims of ‘undermining political plurality’ and ‘holding of elections on Ukraine’s sovereign territory’.

24.08.2021 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the meeting of the so-called Crimea Platform in Kiev

We have taken note of an event that was held in Kiev on August 23 and was entitled a “Crimea Platform Summit.” The stated aim of this political project, developed with active involvement of government experts from the United States, the UK and the European Union and funded by the United States Agency for International Development, is “the de-occupation of Crimea and its reintegration with Ukraine.” The participants involved are just right for this goal – mainly being NATO countries and some international organisations sharing a common delusion that the Crimean Peninsula should be part of the current Ukrainian state and that it can be torn away from the Russian Federation by increasing political and economic pressure on Russia.

21.08.2021 - Embassy comment on new sanctions imposed by UK

We took notice of the new personal sanctions imposed by the UK on the Russian nationals for what is claimed to be ‘their direct responsibility for the poisoning of Alexey Navalny’. It is indicative indeed that sanctions are being rubber-stamped in a process which is completely detached from actual facts and looks like a formality, a way to ‘mark anniversaries’.

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