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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov looks on during a press conference after the BSEC session in Belgrade on December 13, 2016

    Lavrov: Deliberate Campaign to Discredit Russia Underway in West

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that numerous cases restricting the professional activities of Russian journalists were alarming, and expressed hope that professional journalism associations would continue promoting high journalism standards.

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    © Sputnik/ Grigoriy Sisoev
    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that a deliberate campaign to discredit Russia is currently underway in the West.

    "With the rapid development of information and communication technologies, the maintenance of stability in global affairs largely depends on the objective work of the mass media. A deliberate campaign to discredit Russia underway in the West does not contribute to this," Lavrov said at a meeting with representatives of Russian non-profit organizations.

    The minister stressed that numerous cases restricting the professional activities of Russian journalists were alarming, and expressed hope that professional journalism associations would continue promoting high journalism standards.

    In December, the Ukrainian government denied RIA Novosti journalists accreditation to provide coverage of the cabinet sessions under the parliament ruling. RIA Novosti had previously been banned from covering the work of Ukraine's parliament, office of the president, and foreign and defense ministries.

    In November 2016, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution which said that Sputnik and RT posed a threat to Europe’s unity and called for extra funding from the European Commission for counter-propaganda projects. The resolution also drew a parallel between Russian media and the propaganda disseminated by the Islamic State (IS), a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and numerous other states.

    In March 2015, Kiev published a list of 115 Russian media outlets, which could be denied or temporarily suspended accreditation by Ukrainian authorities as the outlets reportedly "posed threats" to the Ukrainian state security.

    As the regulation came into force, a number of Russian journalists and television reporters were denied entry to Ukraine or deported to Russia.

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