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Associated Press

Bush concerned about shutdown of TV6

January 25, 2002

WASHINGTON - The shutdown of independent Moscow station TV6 is a continuing concern for President George W. Bush, the White House said Thursday.

Bush has raised the subject of free media consistently with Russian President Vladimir Putin, dating back to their first meeting in Slovenia last summer, said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.

Fleischer did not say whether Bush had contacted Putin about the Media Ministry's decision to unplug the station. But, he said, "At every stage along the process, as the free media have faced hurdles and difficulties in Russia, the administration has directly contacted the Russians, has directly spoken out."

"It remains a point of concern," Fleischer said.

A court ordered TV6 to close earlier this month in response to a suit by a minority shareholder, which said the station failed to bring a profit. The Media Ministry delayed enforcing the court order amid frenzied negotiations with TV6 journalists hoping to stay on the air.

The ministry finally pulled the plug Monday after the journalists reneged on a compromise deal to sever ties with owner Boris Berezovsky - a Kremlin critic - in exchange for broadcasting rights.


See also:
TV6 case
Media Law in Russia

Associated Press, January 25, 2002

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