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13 Apr, 2023 10:04

UK newspaper removes interview with Russian ambassador

The Times “caved in” to pressure, envoy Andrey Kelin has claimed in a damning open letter
UK newspaper removes interview with Russian ambassador

Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin has accused The Times of “caving in” to outside forces after it removed an interview with the diplomat from its website. Kelin warned that the move does not bode well for the newspaper’s readers.

The story in question was published last Sunday, but as of Thursday it was no longer available on The Times’ web page. Instead, readers receive a notice that the article “has been removed.” An online service that records the content of popular internet links dates Tuesday morning as the latest snapshot of the article.

The Russian Embassy released a statement from Kelin on Thursday condemning the removal of the interview. The message, which was addressed to Times Chief Editor Tony Gallagher, described the decision as “deeply revealing” and suggested that the newspaper had taken the step after “[coming] under fire from the influential local anti-Russian troupe.”

“Your newspaper has sadly caved in to outside pressure or, highly likely, instructions from the authorities,” Kelin argued.

Hardly the hallmark of a courageous independent editorial policy. And bad news for your readers, who have been deprived of a balanced hearing of viewpoints and, consequently, the ability to make their own judgment about the crisis in Ukraine.

The original article in The Times, titled ‘Russia is ready for ceasefire but not defeat, says ambassador to UK’, explained Moscow’s stance on the conflict with Ukraine, as well as the possibility of peace talks.

The ambassador commented on Ukrainian domestic issues, such as the poor economic situation and the crackdown on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by President Vladimir Zelensky. The discussion also covered Russia’s relations with China.

The Russian Embassy has published a copy of the article in full, in protest against its removal by the newspaper.