Moscow Diary: Russian officials shun foreign journalists

Moscow Journal: American in Russia on July 4

Moscow Diary: Russian officials shun foreign journalists

They are especially cautious about international media recognized as &# 171; foreign agents&# 187;

MOSCOW – Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made it very clear: the Kremlin cannot do anything about Russian military contractors operating in Africa.

Soon after reports appeared that more than two dozen Russians had died in Libya, I tried to find out from her if they were there with the approval of the Kremlin..

Zakharova said she did not have detailed information about those soldiers.

After that, I talked to her deputy. Sent an email and offered to discuss this issue over lunch.

He didn’t answer.

And this is not surprising.

Russian officials today are wary of communicating with foreign journalists in an informal setting, especially with representatives of international media, recognized by the Russian authorities as “foreign agents”.

The Voice of America, BBC, France 24, Radio Free Europe and Deutsche Welle fall under suspicion.

Once on the sidelines of a press conference, a man in a dark suit, who introduced himself as a lawyer, but who seemed to me to be an agent of the special services, asked me who I work for.Moscow Diary: Russian officials shun foreign journalists Hearing the answer, he announced: “Ah, well then we are enemies.”.

Some of the Kremlin’s old guard may sabotage a seemingly universal ban on communicating with foreign journalists, but in general they try to avoid us outside of grandiose official meetings..

But even arranging a formal meeting with some officials can be quite challenging..

Take, for example, the Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs under the President of Russia Boris Titov.

I recently sent him an interview request to discuss Western sanctions..

I never got an answer.

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