19:43 Apr. 15, 2016
Ministry spokeswoman says the reasons for the denial are classified
The Czech Foreign Ministry has denied accreditation to two Russian journalists in Prague, eliciting an angry response from Moscow, which accused the Czech authorities of violating the right to freedom of expression.
The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the Czech ambassador for an explanation.
"Unfortunately, the reasons that led to this denial are classified, according to our laws. But I can tell you that we get hundreds of applications every year and most of them are granted. But in these two cases they were denied – which is rare. Unfortunately, I cannot give you any more details," Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova commented on the situation.
However, she said that the ministry would be giving an explanation to Moscow "through diplomatic channels, not through the media."
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According to Michaela Lagronova, the journalists cannot attend certain events and press conferences by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but it does not apply for other institutions.
"So for example, if there is any event or press conference organized by the Office of the Government or the President's Office they have their own accreditation rules so it depends on these institutions whether these people will be allowed to attend or not," she said.
Alexander Kuranov is a freelancer for the state agency RIA Novosti and state television Rossiya Segodnya. He has lived in the Czech Republic since the late 1980s. He was denied accreditation previously, continued to work in the country and had recently made a second request for accreditation. The other journalist is reportedly Vladimir Snegiryov a correspondent for Vechernaya Moskva.