Moscow bans media from “unfriendly” countries at its major economic forum

(Moscow) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said Saturday that journalists from countries Russia deems unfriendly have been denied permission to cover this year’s economic forum in St. Petersburg, one of the country’s most important events.

The move underscores the growing animosity between Russia and countries that have imposed sanctions or criticized Moscow over the fighting in Ukraine.

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, held June 14-17, has been Russia’s way of touting its development and seeking investors for decades. Vladimir Putin’s appearances at the forum were widely visible and he often took the opportunity to hold roundtables with international news figures.

“Yes indeed. “It was decided not to accredit media from non-friendly countries to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum this time,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by the state news agency Tass.

Russia has officially labeled dozens of countries, including the United States, Canada, members of the European Union and Australia as “not friendly” over sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine.

Tyrone Hodgson

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