27 Sep 2019 18:45

Russian Foreign Ministry refuses to link situation surrounding Malakhov's TV show to Russian-Kyrgyz relations

MOSCOW. Sept 27 (Interfax) - The situation surrounding the program of television presenter Andrei Malakhov has nothing to do with bilateral ties between Russia and Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Andrei Malakhov's point of view is a journalist's opinion, his personal view on the situation. We advise the Kyrgyz Embassy in Moscow to use the legislation of the host country in terms of the media's right to respond," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Friday.

A representative of the Russian Embassy was not summoned to the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry in light of Malakhov's program, the statement said. "Kyrgyz colleagues brought up the issue dealing with the TV personality's statement in the program broadcast on the Rossiya TV channel among others during routine working contact," it said.

"The Kyrgyz side did not request Russia to provide consular access to its citizen who had been involved in a car accident that killed a Russian citizen in Moscow," the statement said. "No documents regarding the fate of the Kyrgyz citizen were received via diplomatic channels," it said.

At the same time, according to available information, a criminal case was initiated against the aforementioned Kyrgyz citizen and he was placed in a pre-trial detention facility.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said on Friday morning that the minister-counselor of the Russian Embassy in Bishkek was summoned to the ministry, where a concern was raised about statements made by TV host Andrei Malakhov in relation to a car accident in Moscow involving a Kyrgyz citizen.

It was noted during the meeting that Malakhov made improper statements on the situation surrounding Kyrgyz citizen Islambek Akbarov, who had been involved in a fatal car accident.

The car accident took place on Frunzenskaya Embankment in Moscow on July 8, when a taxi driven by Akbarov, aged 22, collided with a motorcyclist. The next day, the Tagansky District Court of Moscow sanctioned Akbarov's two-month arrest on charges of causing a car accident in which a person was killed through negligence.

Malakhov spoke negatively about the man who caused the accident in his television program Pryamoi Efir (Live), causing Kyrgyz citizens' indignation on social networks. They decided that the Russian TV personality effectively accused Akbarov of murder and demanded that he apologize.

Later on Friday, Malakhov expressed regret that Kyrgyz citizens had interpreted his words in wrong way. "I regret that my words were misunderstood by some Kyrgyz citizens. I stand for peace and good neighborly relations, as well as justice and freedom of speech," Malakhov told the publication StarHit.