Maria Zakharova holds briefing in Sputnik’s corporate vest jacket to support Sputnik Estonia.
On February 26, Moscow hosted a meeting and negotiations between Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and the Prime Minister, Minister of European and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, OSCE Chairman-in-Office Edi Rama.
During the press conference, the ministers were asked a series of questions, one of which was addressed to Mr. E. Rama. The question was asked by Elena Cherysheva, editor-in-chief of the Sputnik Estonia news agency.
In the Baltic countries, and in particular in Estonia, persecution and discrimination of the Russian media occur on a regular basis. At the end of 2019, these persecutions reached a new level. Sputnik Estonia employees who are Estonian citizens received letters threatening imprisonment in case of refusal to terminate employment contracts with a news agency.
Old Europe traditionally pretends that everything is in order and nothing happens. This is fully consistent with the unofficial (so far) policy pursued by Western countries on «legalized» discrimination (in various fields — economics, business, sports, journalism, etc.) of Russian citizens, or citizens of other countries, which are otherwise related to Russia. In the big post «neo-Nazism/neo-Fascism hydra rising a head» ALAFF already touched on this dangerous trend.
So, during a press conference, the chief editor of Sputnik Estonia asked her question to the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in the hope of gaining support. A naive woman.
Mr. Rama, I am addressing you, I probably do not even have a question, but a very big request.
In one European country, Estonia, outrage occurs.
The government and the police persecuted their own citizens, who are employees of the Russian international [news] agency Sputnik Estonia.
Sputnik Estonia is included respectively in the Russian federal [news] agency MIA Rossiya Segodnya.
The government and police of the European, I emphasize it, country of Estonia too freely interpret the law on international sanctions, which clearly spells out who the subject [of the sanctions] is.
Thus, our government of Estonia arbitrarily inscribed on the sanctions list the international news agency Rossiya Segodnya, and two weeks before the end of 2019, they sent letters to their own citizens, citizens of the European country of Estonia, demanding that they immediately terminate their employment with the Russian [news] agency, otherwise we will face a prison up to 5 years.
In this regard, of course, in order to save employees, most of our people were forced to break employment contracts.
Prior to this, the police “bullied” — I will say so, in Russian — our landlord, who was forced to break off the lease agreement with us, so we were left without an office.
Prior to this, in the fall of 2019, Estonian secret services forced banks to ban transactions, i.e. we stopped receiving salaries.
I beg you, as the chairman of the OSCE, to take control of this situation, I beg you to sort this out, because after such outrage Estonia cannot be called a democratic European country.
Mr. Désir has all the information, many thanks to him, he has already commented on this situation.
The expression on E. Rama’s face when the journalist finished her speech:
So this is what the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE, an international organization, whose responsibilities include protecting human rights and developing democratic institutions, said.
This lady asked to take things under control? (pretends that he did not quite understand the translation).
— It was only a request (S. Lavrov clarifies)
She said to me to take control of the situation. Are these her words or a [inaccurate] translation?
— Well, you are in control of everything in the OSCE, aren’t you? (S. Lavrov jokes)
Ok. It’s a… haha. This I wish, but… haha.. no, i’m not. And a… Better for you minister that not.
So, yeah, I listened to all this. It’s something that is not entering the realm of my mandates, but of course i’ll remember this.
And while you introduced yourself, I remembered that Sputnik was engaged in fake news about Albania. But nothing never happened to you. If you continue to do this, nothing will happen to you.
So be sure… at least for what i can control…
The message on Albania… Sputnik is absolutely respected [there] while spreading fake news, not real news.
So, that is my answer.
(* the replicas were partially recorded from the Russian translation of E. Rama’s answer, because the original speech is hard to hear in some places)
Full press conference video.