"In my opinion, those media should have been given a chance to defend themselves in front of the European Parliament against such an accusation, it seems that opportunity wasn't offered to them," IFJ President Philippe Leruth wrote in a reply to Sputnik news agency’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan.
"European Parliament as well as the International and the European Federation of Journalists [is] attached to freedom of expression: freedom of expression is based on the principle that facts are sacred and the comment is free. Even though the comment may not please us, this principle should always prevail," the letter continued.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the move demonstrated "degradation" of how the West perceived democracy. He praised the news agency Sputnik and the international broadcaster RT for their work, saying he hoped the resolution would not entail any curbs on Russian news outlets.