Earlier on Wednesday, a Commission on the Investigation of Foreign Interference in Russia's Internal Affairs formed by the State Duma asked the Foreign Ministry to take action against the Manhattan-based New York Times and London-based Financial Times following what commission head Vasilii Piskarev described as "simultaneously published articles on allegedly inconsistent official statistics on coronavirus mortality in Russia with real statistics."
The measures requested potentially included depriving the two papers of their accreditation; instead, the ministry will send letters to the editors-in-chief of both publications formally asking them to retract their stories' claims.
"Revoking accreditation, expulsion of journalists or any other repressive measures are not our methods," ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. "We always respond, first of all, with a word. In a word, backed up by deeds, specific steps."
Zakharova noted that further measures against the publications depended on whether or not they publicly retracted the articles' claims.