This year Boris Johnson is going to pay his first visit to Russia as a UK foreign minister and as he is preparing for the trip Moscow is ready with some advice how to hide from RT cameras.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) —UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson will need to wear a “hat of invisibility” if he wants to escape the RT broadcaster during his upcoming visit to Moscow, Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said jokingly on Thursday.
Earlier in October, Johnson, a member of the Conservative party, said the fact that Labour Party lawmakers appeared on RT was a “scandal” and accused the broadcaster itself of spreading propaganda.
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The foreign ministry representative said that Russia could not shield Johnson from the broadcaster, since this would require banning RT from some events. Zakharova stressed that media outlets’ right to attend public events is “sacred” for Russia.
The spokeswoman also mentioned that Johnson’s father, Stanley Johnson, appeared on RT’s program Going Underground last month, to discuss his book on Brexit, “Kompromat” and wondered how Johnson could react to this fact.
Zakharova said it was not surprising that “the UK foreign minister, in a manner typical of his Western colleagues, is distorting facts and rearranging them in the way he wants to.”
RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said of Johnson’s outrage over Labour politicians appearing on RT that he was “exercising his freedom of speech by bullying his fellow politicians for exercising theirs.”
RT has faced multiple accusations of spreading propaganda in the West, especially in the last year. In November 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution stressing the need to counter Russian media. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the adoption of the resolution marked a trend for the degradation of “the notion of democracy.”
In another example of a snub to RT, French President Emmanuel Macron said in May at a joint press conference with Putin that the broadcaster and Sputnik had been spreading fake news, which is why they had no access to his campaign. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian president’s administration disagreed with this assessment of the two outlets.
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RT’s activities have been especially restricted in the United States, where the broadcaster has been a topic of discussion in Congress and asked to register as a foreign agent, which is likely to impede the work of the broadcaster.