British handlers are behind the persecution of the Russian news agency Sputnik in Estonia, whose authorities groundlessly threaten to open criminal cases against its journalists. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia stated that today. MFA”s Spokesperson Maria Zakharova joined the action in support of Sputnik”s journalists and held a briefing wearing a vest with the company’s logo on it, the persecution of which she has called a manhunt.
Dmitry Petrov has the details.
Russia will take tough retaliatory measures if the Estonian authorities continue to oppress the Sputnik news agency”s journalists. Chairwoman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko stated that.
Valentina Matviyenko, Chairwoman of the Federation Council: “We really hope that Estonia will stop this unprecedented, illegal action and think it over. Otherwise, we will definitely take adequate retaliatory measures. They’ll be tough because it’s simply ending to put up with this kind of action and oppressing media anymore. These measures will certainly be substantial”.
It’s clear that the attack on Sputnik will only worsen the already complicated Russian-Estonian relations. But Tallinn deliberately went for it. First, officials sent threatening letters to the editorial staff.
Elena Cherysheva, Estonia Sputnik editor-in-chief: “Our banks refused to conduct transactions between Rossiya Segodnya and the accounts of employees, so we couldn’t receive our paychecks. Our tax payments to the Estonian tax authority were also frozen. Intelligence agencies put pressure on our landlord, and he had to terminate our lease agreement. But they weren’t satisfied with the economic blockade. So they decided to put us in prison. At the big press conference Elena Cherysheva told the president that Sputnik had problems in Estonia.
Elena Cherysheva: “Sputnik Estonia Every employee received a letter from the police saying, in a nutshell, that we work for Rossiya Segodnya, which according to them, is on the sanctions list”.
With Moscow’s help, they managed to have the Estonian bank taking part in that attack unfreeze the at least the tax payments. Now, the landlord strictly demands that they leave the premises before the end of February.
Margarita Simonyan, Rossiya Segodnya editor-in-chief: “Estonia was ahead of the rest: the most enlightened, most progressive, most European, most democratic country. Unlike other countries, it didn’t invent anything new but openly stated: if you keep working for them, we’ll put you in prison”.
Tallinn attributes all this to the sanctions because of the blacklist where Rossiya Segodnya director Dmitry Kiselyov was included. The MFA”s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, who held a briefing today wearing a vest with the logo Sputnik agency, explained this differently.
Maria Zakharova, Spokeswoman for the Russian MFA: “This is a real manhunt, which is aimed not only against the organization Sputnik Estonia but against every journalist working there, is ending. What do the employees feel, who instead of preparing for the holidays and doing their work well, have to think about their future, when they haven’t violated, note, have not violated any law?”
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu promised to give the Commissioner of the OSCE on Freedom of the Media comprehensive explanations regarding restrictions on the work of the Russian news agency. So far, this is basically all Tallinn said regarding the matter.
Dmitry Petrov, Anna Kolk for Vesti.