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Russia. Vladimir Putin congratulated the Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov

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Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the Nobel Peace Prize winner Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov on Thursday. He did so nearly two weeks after the decision was announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Muratov is the editor-in-chief of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, one of the last independent media in Russia.

On October 8, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that a journalist from the Philippines Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratow are winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. – They will receive the award for actions to protect the freedom of speech, which is a condition of democracy and lasting peace – emphasized the chairman of the body awarding the award, Berit Reiss-Andersen.

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Dmitry Muratov is a Russian journalist and editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, one of the last independent media in Russia. He is also the first Russian Nobel laureate in contemporary post-Soviet Russia.

Dmitry Muratov SERGEI CHIRIKOV / PAP / EPA

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Vladimir Putin congratulated Dmitry Muratov

So far, Vladimir Putin has not congratulated the Nobel laureate, and on his behalf it was done by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. On Thursday, however, the Russian president did so by answering Muratov’s question during a question-and-answer session with journalists and academics. – First of all, I would like to congratulate you on winning the Nobel Prize. It was won by the first president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, and it was won by US President Barack Obama. You have found yourself in an excellent group, congratulations – he said.

He referred to Muratow’s announcement that he would donate part of the prize to sick children. – Recently you talked about hospices. I would like to thank you for this, for your noble activity. This is the truth, added the President of Russia.

Putin’s first comment on Muratov was his statement from a few days ago, when he was asked about the possibility of recognizing the journalist as the so-called foreign agent. – If he does not violate Russian law and gives no reason to recognize him as a “foreign agent”, it will not happen. And if he covers himself with the Nobel Prize as a shield in order to violate the law, it will mean that he decides to do so consciously in order to attract attention, Putin said.

Following the decision of the Nobel Committee, discussions arose as to whether the Nobel Prize, which is a cash prize, will bring problems to Muratow in the form of recognizing the award for “receiving funds from abroad”, which is formally one of the criteria for recognizing someone as a “foreign agent”. The second criterion is political activity. Critics of the law on “foreign agents” indicate that both criteria are used broadly and selectively.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ALEXEI DRUZHININ / SPUTNIK



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