19:30 GMT07 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow has prepared letters to chief editors of The Financial Times and The New York Times newspapers, demanding a refutation of the published misinformation about the coronavirus statistics in Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

    "Letters to the editors of FT and NYT, demanding a refutation of the published misinformation, have been prepared," Zakharova said.

    The letters will be handed to the chief editors via Russian embassies in the United States and the United Kingdom, she said.

    "We also addressed a relevant appeal to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media [Harlem] Desir, UNESCO Secretary-General [Audrey] Azoulay. We will send similar materials to the UN secretariat, as an example of that 'information epidemic,' against which UN Secretary-General [Antonio] Guterres has urged the world to fight against," Zakharova added.

    The Financial Times claimed that the number of COVID-19 deaths in Russia was 70 percent higher than reported by the government, while The New York Times alleged that Russia had omitted some 1,700 deaths from the official statistics. Russian officials have strongly refuted these allegations. Earlier in the day, the head of the Russian parliament's lower house’s Commission on the Investigation of Foreign Interference in Russia's Internal Affairs said that the lawmakers would ask the foreign ministry to take measures against those media.

    Tags:
    Maria Zakharova, The New York Times, Financial Times, COVID-19, Russia
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