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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Takeover Troubles U.S. Government

WASHINGTON — The United States voiced concern over the "lack of open and transparent process" in the takeover of NTV television.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday that the United States was watching the case of NTV very carefully and that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell raised the issue last week in a meeting in Paris with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

Boucher declined to characterize the seizure as a significant step backward. "I think we'll see how this ultimately plays out," he said.

"As we've said, we've been concerned about the lack of open and transparent process in terms of the shares and the controlling ownership issues, as well as the overall issue of freedom of speech and freedom of the media in Russia."

Asked whether he thought the NTV takeover was politically motivated, Boucher said the way it had been handled overall "certainly has a political motivation and that its preservation is important for the future of freedom of the press in Russia."