06:51 GMT26 January 2021
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    Media freedom in France has fallen to a precarious level after a Sputnik agency journalist was banned from an official press event earlier in October. The Russian envoy to OSCE has asked the OSCE's Media Freedom office to deal with the "symptomatic situation" of hindering the work of the news agency's reporters.

    VIENNA (Sputnik) — Russia urges French authorities to stop their covert discrimination against the Sputnik news agency, the Russian envoy to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich said Friday after the agency’s reporter was controversially removed from a briefing.

    "We urge our French colleagues to stop the segregation and attempts to hinder the work of journalists," Alexander Lukashevich said.

    He asked Harlem Desir, an official in charge of media freedom with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, to look into "this symptomatic situation and give Paris some advice."

    Lukashevich referred to an October 5 incident where Sputnik France journalist Gaelle Nicolle was asked to leave a joint press conference by French President Emmanuel Macron and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi at the Elysee Palace despite having her accreditation confirmed.

    Lukashevich stressed that, although there was no official ban on the agency’s work, the palace was effectively off-limits to Sputnik journalists.

    Sputnik's work has been repeatedly obstructed by authorities in EU countries after the European Parliament adopted a resolution on EU strategic communications last year that was aimed at restricting the activities of several media outlets, including Sputnik, over propaganda claims.


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    Journalism, media freedom, accreditation, ban, Sputnik News, OSCE, Emmanuel Macron, Alexander Lukashevich, EU, Russia, France, Austria
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