MOSCOW, April 14 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine has banned an alarming number of Russian journalists from covering events in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters Monday.
“The events in Ukraine show that the situation has got out of hand and is taking on abnormal proportions,” Lavrov said at a press conference following a meeting with Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Carti.
The diplomat said that Russia would raise awareness of the violations against Russian journalists in Ukraine at the international level.
“We intend to raise awareness in the international community, with our Western partners and within the journalism community about this abnormality,” the Russian foreign minister said.
He also stressed that the lack of a Western reaction to the deplorable state of press freedom in Ukraine suggested a double standard on the issue. “The West keeps silent … which means double standards are at play,” Lavrov said.
In recent weeks, Ukrainian border guards have slammed doors on a number of Russian reporters, citing "insufficient travel funds" as the reason for barring them from entering the country, despite the journalists having more than enough money to travel to Ukraine under the country's laws.
Last week, RIA Novosti photographer Alexei Kudenko was prevented from entering the country after arriving at the Donetsk airport, while another RIA Novosti correspondent, Andrei Malyshkin, was removed from a train heading to the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk.
The country also barred the entry of the editor-in-chief of the Russian Pioneer magazine, Kommersant special correspondent Andrey Kolesnikov and photographer Dmitry Azarov.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.