Moscow threatens to expel US journalists over YouTube block

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 26 2022 08:40 PM

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, on January 14, 2022. Maxim Shipenkov, EPA-EFE/file
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, on January 14, 2022. Maxim Shipenkov, EPA-EFE/file

Russia's foreign ministry on Thursday threatened to expel a US journalist or US media outlet if YouTube again blocks broadcasts of its weekly press briefings.

"A few of my briefings were blocked. What we did is we went ahead and said: if you block a briefing one more time, one journalist or one US outlet will go home," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a roundtable discussion.

She also took aim at Polish media, "taking into account that all this is overseen by a lady with Polish citizenship", referring to the platform's CEO Susan Wojcicki, a US citizen of Polish descent.

"Given Poland's position (towards Russia), we may not stop at US" media, Zakharova added in quotes carried by Russian news agencies.

Since Russia began its military operation in Ukraine on February 24, YouTube has deleted the channels of many pro-Kremlin media, while state media outlet RT and state-controlled Sputnik were blocked in most Western countries. 

Last week, Russia said it was closing the Moscow offices of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in retaliation for Ottawa's banning of RT.