Several leading non-state Belarussian media refrain from attending Russian ambassador's press conference
MINSK. March 18 (Interfax) - A number of leading non-state Belarussian media outlets have decided to refrain from attending the press conference given by Russian Ambassador Mikhail Babich on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the joining of Crimea to Russia.
"We, the editorial boards of Belarussian non-state media, having weighed up all pros and cons of the presence of our journalists at this event, have decided to refrain from participating in it," the editorial boards said in a joint statement.
The statement was signed by the editors-in-chief of tut.by, European radio for Belarus, BelaPAN, Nasha Niva, and Narodnaya Volya.
"This decision by no means signifies that the Russian ambassador is being ignored or that there is no interest in his position," the statement said.
"We are ready to meet with Mr. Ambassador in the format of a press conference or separate interviews on Belarussian-Russian relations, ask all questions we are interested in, and communicate his answers to our readers. Some of us have already sent requests for such interviews," it said.
At the same time, "bearing in mind the declared topic of the press conference, we don't want the presence of our journalists to be interpreted by our readers as support of any one of the positions on the 2014 events in Crimea. In any case, Russia's position on this matter is well-known," the statement said.