19:22 GMT21 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Embassy to the United Kingdom on Friday dismissed media reports claiming Russia tried to help WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange flee London, where he has been stuck in Ecuador’s Embassy for years.

    "Another example of disinformation and fake news by British media," the embassy wrote on Twitter, attaching a screenshot of the newspaper’s report.

    READ MORE: Assange Reveals Biggest Threat to Humanity in Latest Released Recording

    The diplomatic mission went on to note that the Guardian journalists have violated the UK media standards by failing to ask the Russian side for a comment prior to the report’s release.

    "As recently as 18 September, [UK] Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, speaking at the Royal Television Society, called for increased efforts to combat media and online disinformation. Today’s Guardian piece is a brilliant example of the kind of journalism that the British reader should be protected from … contrary to British media standards, the authors had not asked us for a comment when preparing their article," the embassy’s spokesperson underlined.

    The embassy's response comes as a reaction to claims made by the Guardian newspaper that the plan on Assange’s escape involved Ecuador trying to grant him diplomatic immunity in 2017 that would allow the whistleblower to flee the United Kingdom, with Russia considered as one of the options for the final destination. The newspaper also claimed that Russian diplomats have allegedly expressed willingness to help Assange receive asylum in Russia.

    Earlier, the Guardian reported, citing unnamed sources, that Russian diplomats have allegedly held secret talks in the UK capital with Assange’s associates in order to help the whistleblower escape from the United Kingdom, and former Ecuadorian Consul to London Fidel Narvaez allegedly served as an intermediary in talks with Russia.

    In its turn, the Russian embassy denied allegations in an interview with the newspaper and said that he has visited the embassy twice in 2018 on occasion of "open-public meetings" in the company of "20-30 more diplomats from different countries" to discuss the crisis in Russian-UK relations.

    In addition, Moscow stated that "the Embassy has never engaged either with Ecuadorean colleagues, or with anyone else, in discussions on any kind of Russia’s participation in ending Mr Assange’s stay within the diplomatic mission of Ecuador."

    In September, Associated Press news agency reported that internal WikiLeaks files suggested Assange was secretly looking for a Russian visa in 2010 and wrote to the Russian consulate in London, granting a friend the authority to drop off and collect Assange's passport.

    Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in June 2012 after being accused of sexual offenses by the Swedish authorities. While the charges have since been dropped, he still fears extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for leaking Iraq War logs and other information.


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    whistleblower, WikiLeaks, Ecuadorian Embassy, Russian Embassy, Julian Assange, Russia, United Kingdom
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