Serbian TV sacks employee over Putin visit

25th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Serbian TV station said Friday it had sacked one employee and suspended several others over a headline describing Russian Prime Minister Vladimi Putin's visit as "unfriendly."

The RTV Vojvodina's 5:00 pm (1600 GMT) news programme broadcast on Wednesday carried a report on talks between Putin and Serbian President Boris Tadic under an on-screen headline that read "Confirmation of Unfriendly Relations" instead of "Confirmation of Friendly Relations."

"The person who wrote the title was fired, while all others in the chain of command, from editor-in-chief to the programme editor, were suspended until decisions were made on how to punish them," the station's general menager Blazo Popovic told AFP.

The RTV Vojvodina board of editors described the incident as an "attack on RTV" and an attempt to "undermine and jeopardize historically friendly relations between the Serbian and Russian nations," Popovic said earlier in a statement.

"As far as I am concerned, one letter could be a mistake, but two wrongly written letters are a premeditated incident," Popovic said.

During the one-day visit to Serbia on Wednesday, Putin and the Serbian top leadership insisted on "historic friendship of Serbian and Russian people" and vowed to keep closest possible relationship in the future.

© 2011 AFP

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