Media representatives were not admitted to the meeting of parliamentarians from OSCE countries in Vienna for fear of Russian propaganda actions. Access restrictions have been tightened because Russian MPs are also taking part and the meeting coincides with the anniversary of the Russian attack on Ukraine, German MP Michael Georg Link (FDP) told the German Press Agency.
“This should on the one hand ensure that the winter conference runs smoothly and on the other hand prevent the Russian propaganda machine from exploiting this meeting for its own cause,” he said. The exclusion of independent media is a “side effect that should indeed have been avoided,” said Link, who serves as Vice President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Ukrainian MPs also stated that this was the reason for the media blackout.
The Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly, on the other hand, argued that, in addition to security aspects, the lack of space was the main argument against media participation. Without direct access, media were forced to follow the speeches via a live stream without translation.
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