MOSCOW (Sputnik) — UK authorities must immediately clarify the situation with the closing of Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya's bank account, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.
"The Russian side has submitted a demand to the British authorities to urgently clarify the situation with the closing of the bank accounts of state news agency Rossiya Segodnya at the Barclay's bank in London. The account was unilaterally closed on July 8, 2015," the ministry said in a statement.
Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Rossiya Segodnya, said the closure was illegal since the agency had not been under any sanctions even if Kiselev was banned from having personal accounts in UK banks.
Russia’s democracy and rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov on Monday condemned the UK government’s decision to close Rossiya Segodnya's bank account in London as an attack on press freedom.
"The closure of the International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya’s bank account at Barclays by UK authorities is yet another example of repressed freedom of speech and media in this proud democracy, which is Britain," Dolgov tweeted.
Closing the accounts of news agency Rossiya Segodnya’s London bureau is an example of censorship of the media that provides alternative news coverage, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko said Monday.