Russia says state news agency bank account closed in UK

13th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Russia on Monday said the state news agency Rossiya Segodnya had had a bank account closed in London in a move that it said was connected to sanctions over Ukraine.

The foreign ministry said the "closure" of a Barclay's bank account on July 8 was linked to sanctions against the agency's head Dmitry Kiselyov over Ukraine, adding it was demanding an explanation from the British authorites.

No information had been given about what had happened to the money held there, it said.

"This situation has caused an obstacle for the work of the largest Russian news agency in Britain," the ministry said in a statement.

The closure was due to European Union (EU) sanctions against Kiselyov over Russia's takeover of Crimea from Ukraine, the statement said.

Kiselyov, labelled one of the Kremlin's fiercest propagandists by the West, has been on the EU sanctions list against Russian and pro-Moscow Ukrainian individuals since March 2014.

There was no immediate reaction from the British authorities or Barclays.

On Twitter, Russia's ambassador in London, Alexander Yakovenko, slammed the account closure as an "example of censorship against alternative media."

Rossiya Segodnya, which incorporates the RIA Novosti and Sputnik news wires, is one of Russia's leading state-run media companies.

Russia and the West are locked in their worst standoff since the Cold War over the crisis in Ukraine.

The US and EU have slapped economic sanctions on scores of individuals from Russia and eastern Ukraine over Moscow's alleged meddling in the country and targeted entire swathes of the economy.


© 2015 AFP

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