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Belarus: Kremlin Spokesman Concerned About Press Curbs

Moscow, 25 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russia today expressed concern about problems facing Russian journalists in Belarus and urged Minsk to guarantee media freedoms.

Presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky told a news briefing that the very fact that Russian TV channels have been denied the right to send information material from Minsk prompts deep concern in the Kremlin. Yastrzhembsky said Moscow expects the principles of freedom of information to be restored in full and that Russian journalists will be able to perform their professional duties without obstacles.

At the same time Yastrzhembsky called on Russian journalists to act within the law and preserve the rules of objectivity.

Belarus authorities began cracking down on foreign TV broadcasters on Sunday, stopping journalists from entering the main TV center from where they usually transmit coverage of the former Soviet republic.