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    Russian Journalist's Questioning in US Raises Grave Concerns - Foreign Ministry

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The detention and interrogation of Russian journalist and member of the Russian Civic Chamber Alexander Malkevich at a Washington airport by the FBI, is a demonstration of a US campaign aimed at putting pressure on the Russian press, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

    "The detention of the first deputy chairman of the Russian Civic Chamber's Commission on Development of Information Community, Mass Media and Mass Communications, Alexander Malkevich, at an airport in Washington on 9 November raises very serious concerns. The hours-long interrogation arranged by FBI agents about his journalistic activities is more evidence of the pressure campaign by US authorities not only on the Russian press but on any independent opinion about the United States," the statement said.

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    According to the statement, the United States is trying to hamper objective reporting of international and local events in the country by demanding the Russian journalist register his news agency USA Really as a ‘foreign agent’.

    "The request made to our journalist by force — almost at gunpoint — to register the information agency USA Really, which he heads, as a 'foreign agent' is of the same nature. As with the story of the RT broadcaster, Washington is trying to prevent reporting objective information about events in the world and the United States itself to the US public," the statement added.

    The Foreign Ministry also said that the United States could have been also trying to create a pretext to impose new sanctions on Russia, given the fact that Malkevich was asked about Russia's alleged meddling in the US elections.

    "While interference in other states’ internal affairs is the trademark of Washington itself," the ministry added.

    READ MORE: US Treasury Adviser Charged With Leaking Info on Detained Russian Citizen Butina

    Additionally, the Foreign Ministry demanded that Washington put an end to the practice of persecuting Russian journalists.

    "We also hope that Washington will come to understand the inadmissibility of further loosening of relations between our countries to benefit the United States' internal political situation," the ministry concluded.

    Malkevich told Sputnik that he had already left the United States and was currently in Paris.

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    Tags:
    journalist, detention, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States, Russia
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