“The disappearance of any media will not be felt strongly.” Dmitry Peskov – on recognizing Meduza as an “foreign agent”

Scanpix / LETA

Ekho Moskvy : The editor-in-chief of Meduza wrote a text stating that the publication is on the verge of a very difficult decision. It may even be about closing. Tell me, maybe the president and you will miss this media outlet as a source of information if they have to close down? Or maybe you are calm about it?

Dmitry Peskov : Listen, we treat every media outlet with deep respect. We value the professionalism of journalists in every media outlet. But the modern information market is built in such a way that the disappearance of any media will not be felt strongly. Let’s be honest.

Meduza : First of all, I would like to clarify, do I now need to precede each phrase with a remark that this question is being asked by a media outlet performing the functions of a foreign agent, or can such formalities be dispensed with in a conference call?

Dmitry Peskov : During a conference call, after all, you do not publish information – you perceive it. So no, here, let’s get by without it.

Meduza : Okay, thanks. Dmitry Sergeevich, you have already said that the Ministry of Justice has made a “legal decision” regarding Meduza. Do you have any idea why Meduza was recognized as a “foreign agent”? Will the Kremlin ask the Ministry of Justice for clarification on this issue or is it just taking this decision on faith?

Dmitry Peskov : No. We take note of this decision of the Ministry of Justice. It must be done. And you, as the media, understand that there is no limitation on your activities. There is no ban on your activity. You can continue your activity, and you have the right to ask the Ministry of Justice for argumentation.

Meduza : Does the Kremlin link the recognition of Meduza as an “foreign agent” with some unfriendly actions of Latvia, where the newspaper’s editorial office is located? Does the Kremlin understand that Meduza is a private company that is not associated with any state?

Dmitry Peskov : Well, we understand, but still this is not a Russian media. This is a Russian-language media outlet. We have a lot of Russian-language media available on the territory of the Russian Federation, but they are not Russian media.

Meduza : But we work exclusively for the Russian audience.

Dmitry Peskov : Well, I see. But listen, I don’t know, Radio Free Europe , they also work for the Russian audience. But they have nothing to do with the Russian Federation.

Meduza : That is, by saying that a “legal decision” has been made, the Kremlin says that the essence of the problem is not interesting to it and that bureaucratic enforcement of the law is much more important?

Dmitry Peskov : Well, probably yes. I agree with you.

(C)MEDUZA 2021

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