Several ministres, journalists and members of civil society were expected at this congress, co-hosted by Canada, during the period of 10 and 11 of July.
“We have not accredited RT or Sputnik because of their role in spreading disinformation” a Foreign Office spokeswoman said. “While it’s not possible to accommodate all requests for accreditation, journalists from across the world’s media are attending the conference, including from Russia”.
The Kremlin didn’t wait for a reaction. It describes the decision as absurd. “There can be no conference about the freedom of the press when journalists are barred from taking part in it”, according to Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman.
This decision goes back to another one back in December. The British media regulator Ofcom had condemned RT to impartiality after the nerve agent attack in the English city of Salisbury. Moscow has denied this assertion by London. According to them, the UK Government approved the attack on a former Russian double agent.
This conference was designed to enhance international dialogue and cooperation on media freedom, including fake news.
Several days before the event, Britain announced a £18m project aiming to fight against disinformation all around Eastern Europe and to strengthen independent media in the Western Balkans.