On June 24th Russian Federation Council held a meeting to discuss informational politics and a committee of CIS affairs. The meeting was devoted to the current state of information exchange within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Senators and diplomats reached rather gloomy conclusion: Russia is being wrongfully forced out of the CIS information frontiers.
Official spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yakovlev stated in this regard that “current state of Russian media in CIS is unstable. In fact, it can be classified as unsatisfactory. If nothing will be done in the nearest future, Russia will be forced out of the CIS information market.”
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, situation with Russian media is getting worse within CIS, circulation of Russian newspapers is also being reduced significantly and local authorities make things worse for Russian correspondents.
Several countries such as Turkmenia, Uzbekistan and Ukraine are being discriminatory towards Russian-language newspapers: they even ban subscriptions to Moscow journals and newspapers.
“Even our Embassy in Turkmenistan cannot receive newspapers in Russian. We have already posed the issue but have not received a logical explanation yet,” stated Yakovenko. The last phrase of the ministry’s spokesman paints a clear picture of how things are. We pose the question-no answer follows, so what can we do?
It is not a secret that in an overwhelming majority of such instances of discrimination of the Russian-language press within the CIS has nothing to do with powerful competition with local editions. Rather, the main problem deals with administrative regulations.
Authorities of the post-Soviet states perceive the issue from a totally different perspective. According to them, they simply want to preserve their native tongue by fully eliminating Russian. It is noteworthy to mention that Western press writes way more harsh articles about the leaders of the post-Soviet republics. But how many people in Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan know English, French or German? Obviously, majority of people know Russian. Consequently, Russian press appears dangerous to them.
Statements regarding the fact that the republics are simply trying to save their native tongue serve as a mere faзade that is used to justify all the limitations and bans on Russian press, which in turn is more free than that in majority of post-Soviet republics.