Russia will not deny NYT and FT accreditation for articles about COVID-19

Russia will not deny accreditation to the journalists of The Financial Times and The New York Times after the publications on undervaluation of mortality due to coronavirus in Russia. This was announced by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Youtube channel «Соловьев.Live»

She noted that diplomats were asked by the State Duma to revoke the accreditation of Western journalists.

“This is, of course, a last resort, and it is not our method – withdrawal of accreditation, expulsion of journalists or any other repressive measures. We always respond first and foremost by word, and by word supported by deed, by concrete steps,” Zakharova said.

Earlier that day, Zakharova said the Russian Foreign Ministry would send letters to the editors of the editions calling for the Russian media to refute publications on COVID-19 mortality in Russia.

A few days ago, The Financial Times published a story stating that 2073 more people died in Moscow and St. Petersburg in April than the previous five years on average. However, only 629 COVID-19 patients died. The rest of the deaths, according to American journalists, were not counted. A similar publication appeared in The New York Times.

The Russian Foreign Ministry believes that such publications are fake and Western media are trying to shift the audience’s attention from internal problems to such articles.

In addition, Gennady Onishchenko, Russia’s former chief medical officer, called the FT’s COVID-19 statement about mortality in Russia a hippie and said that it was necessary to wait until the pandemic was over to get an objective picture.

As of May 13, the number of detected cases of COVID-19 in Russia had reached 242,271. 48,003 people were cured. 2,212 patients have died.