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Russia outraged by US denying visas to Russian journalists: "We will not forget, we will not forgive"

Sunday, 23 April 2023, 17:42
Russia outraged by US denying visas to Russian journalists: We will not forget, we will not forgive

Russian journalists were not issued visas to cover Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s participation in UN events in New York. Russian government officials have promised to take retaliatory measures.

Source: Interfax, citing Sergey Ryabkov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; RIA Novosti, a Russian propaganda outlet, citing Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and a source in Russian diplomatic circles

Quote from Ryabkov: "Americans resorted to another outrageous, absolutely unacceptable trick during the preparations for Russian Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov’s participation in events marking Russia’s presidency of the UN Security Council, which is coming to an end. A group of Russian journalists who were supposed to accompany Lavrov on this trip were denied visas at the very last moment. The Americans pretended that they were working and that a solution would soon be found."

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Details: Ryabkov said that this was a "taunt", a "mockery" and "another reflection of the fact that [our] colleagues in Washington should not be trusted, and moreover are not worth listening to".

"I insist that we will find ways to respond to this so that the Americans learn once and for all that this is unacceptable. They will remember this," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said.

Meanwhile, Lavrov said in response to the US decision that "We will not forget, we will not forgive".

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An anonymous Russian diplomat told RIA Novosti that following the visa incident, Russia will treat US journalists like the US treated Russian journalists. He said that American journalists will experience the full extent of discomfort and inconvenience for themselves, and will be "treated analogously".

Background: 

  • On 29 March, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) detained Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, in Yekaterinburg, and a criminal case had been opened against him for espionage.
  • The Moscow court ordered to detain Evan Gershkovich until 29 May. 
  • The US Department of State recognized Gershkovich as "wrongfully detained".
  • According to the media, Russian President Vladimir Putin personally approved the arrest of US reporter Evan Gershkovich whom Russia accuses of espionage.
  • On 15 April, the journalist wrote his first letter to his family from the Lefortovo detention centre, and on 17 April, US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy visited him in the detention centre for the first time.

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