01:25 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT and Rossiya Segodnya

    Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Reveals Emails Monitored by Intel Agencies in Baltics

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    Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan commented on the problems Sputnik faces in the Baltic countries and how special services track conversations and read staff emails, in an interview with the RNS information agency.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — She said that in one Baltic state those who go to a job interview at Sputnik "are summoned to the local KGB and questioned."

    "They are asking why they went and if they want to betray their homeland. Can you imagine if something like that were happening in our country? Imagine if people here went to work for Radio Liberty, and received a call from a colonel the following day with questions. This is the worst thing that existed in the Soviet Union — and we do not have it, but they do. It's unclear whether the Soviet Union taught them bad things, or vice versa," Simonyan said.

    At the same time, she stressed that this practice was not observed in many countries, "but in the Baltic states it is common."

    She specified that quite often RT's staff internal correspondence became available to the broadcaster's competitors and that it could not happen without special services' participation.

    "How come the contents of our confidential correspondence, which has never been published anywhere, suddenly pop up in some Western outlet, which is known to be cooperation with special services? We realize that it was a leak. We realize that this piece of information could reach that specific outlet only if special services leaked it, because there is no other way this information to get to the media," Simonyan said.

    "When I talk on any phone, or write something, I know that there aren't two of us there, or even three of us, or maybe not even five," Simonyan added.

    Sputnik has faced restrictions on its activities by local authorities in the Baltic countries. On October 6, 2016, Estonia's Ministry of Defense denied Sputnik Estonia accreditation for a press conference with the participation of Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak and other officials. In the spring of 2016, Sputnik Latvia was blocked in the.lv domain zone. According to the official letter of the domain registrar of March 29, referring to the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, "the registration of the domain name sputniknews.lv is a violation of the provisions of the Council of the European Union on restrictive measures in connection with the threat of territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine."

    Sputnik is a news agency and radio network with multimedia news hubs in dozens of countries. Sputnik broadcasts through its websites in over 30 languages, as well as on analogue and digital radio, mobile apps, and social media. Sputnik newswires are available by subscription, 24/7, in English, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese.


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