Updated 1:21 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) – A proposal to impose sanctions on Russian journalists for their coverage of events in Ukraine and Crimea is “absurd and inadmissible,” a senior Russian diplomat said Tuesday.
"Punishing people who risk their lives in Ukraine for objective coverage of events there is beyond good and evil," Russian Foreign Ministry special representative for human rights, democracy and the rule of law Konstantin Dolgov said in a statement.
"We call on international human rights institutions, including the OSCE representative on the freedom of the media, to prevent another blatant violation of international norms concerning human rights," Dolgov said.
The idea of extending sanctions to a number of Russian journalists and news agencies was voiced during the EU Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) meeting on September 10, according to extracts of the meeting’s proceedings published in Germany's Junge Welt daily. Underlying the proposal is the accusation of Russian journalists of distorting the facts and destabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine.
Following the reunification of Crimea with Russia, the West introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, notably targeting its oil, banking and defense sectors. Moscow responded with the adoption of a one-year ban on the import of certain food products made in the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway.