Embassy Statement

January 17, 2018

Recently, on January 13, Russian journalists celebrated their professional holiday. In the U.S. this celebration was gloomed by yet another decision of the U.S. authorities to force an additional organization, which provides services to the Russian media, to register as a foreign agent. In another country, which adopted this type of democracy from the U.S., Russian journalists were simply deprived of the opportunity to do their job, they were expelled. We consider it as an inability of the West to stand a fair media competition, as a desire to deny its citizens access to an alternative opinion, as a rejection of liberties, which the West itself has proclaimed.
This has already become a normality. As well as the lack of any public demonstration of professional solidarity or any show of resentment from those who have taken the mission to protect the rights and freedoms of press in the West. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) did not protest, demonstrating its political commitment, bias and inability to provide equal approaches in defending “common standards”. Neither did we hear their appeals to stop using "foreign agent law and stop this systematic obstruction of the free flow of information”, when the U.S. authorities began to impede the work of the Russian media, despite our warnings of imminent reciprocal measures.
Their hypocrisy became even more evident when it turned out that the Ukrainian extremist web-site “Myrotvorets” had been relocated to the U.S. servers more than three months ago. It publishes personal information on those whom the right-wing radicals consider enemies of Ukraine. Among them – the lists of thousands of journalists (including American journalists), who were engaged in covering the events in Ukraine, specifically – in Donbass. Therefore, their lives and security were endangered. Some individuals whose data had been published on the web-site were murdered. Including journalist Oles' Buzina. His killers still haven’t been punished.
In 2016 the Committee issued an appeal to Ukraine’s authorities to “condemn the threats to journalists” originating from this web-site. In 2017 and 2018 it remained silent. So did the U.S. authorities, since the threat to media representatives comes from the U.S. territory which seems to provide better conditions for such resources.
Instead of taking decisive actions against the activity of “Myrotvorets” we see a desire of the Committee to cease every opportunity to criticize Russia. The most recent example is its assault on the Russian State Duma, which reacts fairly and accordingly to the provocative actions of the American authorities towards Russian media in the U.S. We consider the Committee’s attitude as nothing but a display of double standards. And this causes deep disappointment.
Should restrictive measures against our press continue, we will act reciprocally. There will never be an alternative, no matter what sanctions we are threatened with. The Committee should understand that and stay within its professional area.