FOREIGN MINISTRY ACCUSES RUSSIAN JOURNALIST
On 27 May head of the Foreign Ministry’s information department Andrei Savinykh accused the special “Izvestia” correspondent Alena Daneika of violation of the Law on press. Savinykh informed the journalist she had violated the law in her article “Lukashenko offended”. Alena Daneika was warned that she is “in a difficult situation”. However, she will not stand trial.
Savinykh informed Alena Daneika about the official position of the Ministry concerning the Friday article “Lukashenka Strikes an Attitude”, dedicated to the slowdown of the Russia, Belarus integration. According to the Foreign Ministry of Belarus, Alena Daneika violated Art 40 of the Law on press by spreading untruthful information.
Savinykh admitted that the article provoked negative feed-back and discredited the image of Belarus and Belarusian-Russian relations. The Foreign Ministry considers this publication abusive.
Belarusian Information Minister Mikhail Padhainy addressed his Russian colleague Mikhail Lesin with a request “to take measures against “Izvestia” in conjunction with the publication of untruthful information in conformity with the Russian legislation.”
Savinykh warned Alena Daneika that the article might lead to deprivation of her accreditation license in the Foreign Ministry of Belarus. However, since January 25 Alena has no accreditation, because she simply forgot to prolong it. So there is nothing to deprive her of. The Belarsuain authorities are not ready to bring the Russian journalist before a court.
The Foreign Ministry warned the journalist, that her article puts her in a difficult situation and complicates her journalistic work in Belarus. The maximum penalty, which might follow, is denial to prolong her accreditation licence in case she applies for it.
In reply to all acussations Alena Daneika claims that all facts and quotes used in the article can be confirmed with dictophone recordings, leaving no space to doubt their veracity. The newspaper editorial board also supports the journalist. However, the journalist believes it is not worth to aggravate relations with the Belarusian authorities and looks forward to diplomatic settlement of the controvercy.