08:23 GMT22 February 2020
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    The decision of an Estonian bank to close the accounts of Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency is evidence of Europe’s fearfulness and its disregard for the freedom of speech, agency’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Tallinn Business Bank informed Rossiya Segodnya that it unilaterally terminated an agreement covering the agency's account with the bank. The bank explained that its actions were motivated by concerns that the frozen account might include funds controlled by the agency's director general, Dmitry Kiselev, who was the subject of EU sanctions in connection to the Ukrainian conflict.

    "Europe has become fearful, there is no space for freedom of speech. We could lobby the freezing of accounts of similar international organizations here in Russia in response to the closing of our accounts and other attacks on us, but we don’t do so, because we believe in freedom of speech for all and not only for us,” Simonyan said.

    Rossiya Segodnya press service said the information agency was going to appeal against the bank's decision.

    The case is not the first time Estonia obstructs the work of the agency.

    Last month, the Estonian border agency denied entry to Rossiya Segodnya’s Multimedia Programs Director Marina Perekrуstova in connection with an existing ban against her, the reasons of which were not explained.

    The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) responded to the situation reminding Estonia of the commitment of all OSCE member states to grant all journalists freedom of movement.


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    bank account, Rossiya Segodnya, Margarita Simonyan, Estonia, Russia
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