The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that it was closing the Moscow bureau of the CBC and withdrawing visas and accreditation for journalists from the public broadcaster, after Canada banned the Russian state television channel Russia Today. .
“With regret, we continue to notice open attacks on the Russian media from the countries of the so-called collective West who call themselves civilized,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters.
“A decision was made to take retaliatory measures, I underline retaliatory measures in relation to Canada’s actions: the closure of the Moscow office of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, including the cancellation of accreditations and visas for their reporters.
💬#Zakharova : In response to Ottawa’s ban on @RT_com and @RTenfrancaisthe Moscow office of Canada’s national public broadcaster @CBC will be closed and the accreditation and visas of its journalists will be cancelled. pic.twitter.com/AeHyAU9RYb
Zakharova said Ottawa chose what she described as a “Russophobic” path, including media censorship.
The Russian Embassy in Ottawa confirmed the development.
Last month, Russia sanctioned 61 Canadians, a list that included a number of CBC employees as well as other Canadian journalists.
Canada introduced a bill in the Senate on Tuesday barring Russian President Vladimir Putin and about 1,000 members of his government and military from entering the country, as it continues to increase sanctions against the February 24 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In March, Putin signed a law imposing a prison term of up to 15 years for intentionally spreading “false” information about the military, prompting some Western media outlets to withdraw their journalists from Russia.
Russian officials do not use the word ‘invasion’ and say Western media have provided an overly partial account of the war in Ukraine that ignores Russia’s concerns over NATO expansion and the alleged persecution of Russian speakers. .
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly chastised the West for what he calls an undemocratic crackdown on Russian state media which he said offered an alternative to Western narratives.
Putin presents the war as an inevitable confrontation with the United States, which he accuses of threatening Russia by interfering in its backyard and expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization military alliance.
Ukraine says it is fighting land grabbing the imperial way and that Putin’s claims about genocide and persecution of Russian speakers are nonsense.