The Russian foreign ministry announced that they would close the Moscow bureau of the CBC, strip all CBC journalists of their accreditation in Russia, and withdraw their visas.
“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,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
“A decision has been taken to make retaliatory. I underscore retaliatory measures in relation to the actions of Canada: the closure of the Moscow bureau of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, including the annulation of the accreditations and visas of their journalists.”
This retaliation comes after Canada banned Russia Today (RT) and introduced a bill in the Senate that will “ban President Vladimir Putin and around 1,000 members of his government and military from entering the country as it continues to ratchet up sanctions over Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, reports Global News.
Zakharova further claimed that the CBC and the Trudeau government are “Russophobic.”
Chuck Thompson, CBC’s head of public affairs, has since responded to the recent ban on CBC journalists in Russia.
“We have maintained a bureau in Moscow for more than 44 years and are currently the only Canadian news organization with a permanent presence in the country. Our journalism is completely independent of the Canadian government and we are saddened to see the Russian government conflate the two,” said Thompson.
“To our knowledge, this is the first time in the history of CBC/Radio-Canada that a foreign government has forced the closure of one of our bureaus. This appears to be another step by Russia to stifle a free and independent press within its borders. We are tremendously proud of the journalism our correspondents have produced in Russia over the past many years and we will continue to tell the story of Russia as best we can from outside the country.”