The Joint Press Conference of the Pakistani and Ukrainian foreign ministers at the Ministry of Foreign of Affairs in Islamabad on Thursday (Video grab: Pakistan Foreign Ministry)
The Russian Federation has expressed its serious dismay after Russian journalist Ruslan Bekniyazov was expelled minutes before the joint press briefing of Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his visiting Ukrainian Counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, DND News Agency reported.
The matter pertains to the Senior Correspondent of the Russian ITAR-TASS News Agency in Islamabad, Ruslan Bekniyazov being forced out of the press room while he was waiting along with other Foreign Affairs Correspondents before the Joint Press Conference of the Pakistani and Ukrainian foreign ministers at the Ministry of Foreign of Affairs in Islamabad on Thursday.
“It is inadmissible to violate reporters’ rights to access information,” the Russian Embassy in Pakistan said on Twitter.
It further said that “it stands in solidarity with the Russian journalist Ruslan Bekniyazov” and the Embassy has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad to provide clarity on the incident.
Notably, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was on a bilateral visit to Pakistan from July 20-21.
DND News Agency stated citing a report by ‘Pakistan Daily’ that a day before the mentioned joint press stakeout, the Pakistani Foreign Office Press Wing collected and registered the names of Foreign Office Correspondents and Ruslan Bekniyazov’s name was also enlisted to cover this media briefing a day ago by Pakistani Officials.
However, when the journalists in the press room acknowledged the absence of Bekniyazov and asked the spokesman Mumtaz Zahra Baloch about the reason, she was totally “unaware” of the matter, DND News Agency reported.