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Russia Scolds U.S. State Department For Exchange With RT Reporter

  • RFE/RL

Russia's Foreign Ministry reacted angrily to an encounter between a Russian TV reporter and a U.S. State Department spokesman who criticized the journalist's state-run employer.

State Department officials have clashed regularly in the past with reporters from RT, the satellite television channel controlled by the Russian government that Secretary of State John Kerry once called a "propaganda bullhorn."

At the State Department's daily briefing in Washington on November 16, spokesman John Kirby responded to a question from RT reporter Gayane Chichakian by saying she should ask the Russian government about its military actions in Syria.

"I'm sorry, but I'm not going to put Russia Today on the same level with the rest of you who are representing independent media outlets," Kirby said.

That prompted a sharp rebuttal in Moscow on November 17, with Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova calling it an "outrageous incident."

She said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would raise the incident in talks with Kerry.

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