Russia took its bullet back
Russian delegation to Belgrade had to give commentaries on scandalous statement of a presenter of a state TV-channel ‘Rossia’ Konstantin Semin, who had approved during a live broadcast a murder of Serbian’s premier minister Zoran Djindjic. The management of the channel hasn’t apologized to Serbia yet. Russian officials persuaded Boris Tadic, that Semin’s statement didn’t reflect Russia’s position. Career future of an eloquent journalist is still unknown.
“During the negotiations with the president of Serbia Boris Tadic the Russian delegation gave exhaustive explanations on the unfortunate incident, which were accepted by president Tadic”, a source in the Russian delegation, which attended Dmitry Medvedev in Belgrade, informed. “Boris Tadic emphasized that he understood that these inadmissible statements didn’t reflect Russia’s position”, ITAR TASS cites words of a representative of the delegation of Medvedev. After the negotiations on “South Stream” gas pipeline, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that TV presenter Semin’s statements were “nonsense and his own opinion” which sounded especially offensive because they were voiced on air of a federal channel. Lavrov assured the same explanation was given to the Serbian authorities, and they were satisfied with it, reports Kommersant business daily.
It should be reminded that the international scandal burst because of a comment of the presenter who called Serbian’s premier minister Zoran Djindjic, assassinated in 2003, an “American puppet, who sold off the heroes of the (Serbian) national resistance to The Hague; and received for this a well-earned bullet" (Youtube-video is available here).
The embassy of Serbia in Russia demanded explanations from the leadership of Rossiya television channel. Serbian diplomats wondered whether the statement reflected the official position of the state channel and, certainly, waited for apologies. Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic contacted with his Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov and then sent a protest to the leadership of the channel, which stated: “For Serbia, the statement of the journalist Semin, in which he insults the democratically elected prime minister Zoran Djindjic and justifies his murder, is absolutely unacceptable.” The Serbian minister expressed “disappointment at the appearance of such a comment on Russian state television, especially at a moment when Serbia is fighting for its territorial integrity” and demanded that the station unambiguously distance itself from that statement. Some Serbian state representatives expressed themselves even more strongly, calling the comment “approval of state terrorism.” Moreover, the insult to the memory of the first prime minister of democratic Serbia, who was murdered on March 12, 2003, could be conciedered as an insult to the current president, who used to be a deputy of Djindjic.
Several tens of demonstrators from different nongovernmental organizations, held a protest action near the Embassy of RF in Belgrad. In Russian blogoshere a drive for signatures for discharge of Semin began.
The scandal threatened to overshadow a visit to Serbia of Russian vice-premier Vladimir Medvedev who intended to sign an agreement on building of a gas pipeline ‘South Stream’. In the day of Medvedev’s arrival to Belgrade all the headlines were devoted to the scandalous comment of Russian state TV-channel.
Be that as it may, the management of the Rossiya television channel, as of yesterday, as not considered it necessary to apologize for the insulting statement if its journalist or even to comment on it. A source of the Kommersant business daily at the channel said that “no repressive measures have been taken against Konstantin Semin yet, although they have not been ruled out.”
Konstantin Semin is a son of a former deputy of Yekaterinburg municipal duma and regional political council of “United Russia” party. He has been working at the channel since April 2007. before that he was a staff reporter of the channel in the USA, in 2007 made a documentary film “A Good Empire” about an ideology of a global dominance of the USA.
In June 2007 Konstantin Semin was awarded a medal ‘For Services to the Fatherland’ of the First Class.
The matter of ‘Western puppets’ and ‘destructive influence of the USA’ seems to be Semin’s favorite one. During the direct line with Vladimir Putin on December 24, 2001 just Semin worked as a regional correspondent in Yekaterinburg and passed questions of people to the president, that means that he selected questions that would be put to the president. The result was the following:
E. Andreeva: Well, our correspondent Konstantin Semin is contacting us from Yekaterinburg. Konstantin, please, one can put questions.
K Semin: It is a half past two in Yekaterinburg and about -10 degrees Celsius, but there are a lot of people on the square where we’re working. People came here beforehand; many arrived from other towns. Well, here is the first question.
A question: Good afternoon, Vladimir Vladimirovich. My name is Alexei. I’m interested in the following. As far as I know you have been working in the intelligence service for a long time. And if I get it right the main purpose of our intelligence service was to strengthen the position of our country on the world political arena in opposition to out potential enemies and the United States was considered to be our main potential enemy. So, the following question interests me much: what did you feel during spending the night in the ranch house of George Bush?