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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sokolov Vows Not to Censor Media

In his first news conference as culture and press minister, Alexander Sokolov vowed Monday that he would abstain from censorship, but dodged a question on whether the state should privatize most of the electronic media and news services it controls.

Asked whether he planned to rid the media of biased coverage of cultural events, Sokolov told reporters that he would abstain from "censorship barriers" or "cleansing," before admitting that he is not a big television viewer.

The head of the newly established Federal Press and Mass Communications Agency, Mikhail Seslavinsky, told reporters that he agreed "strategically" with former Press Minister Mikhail Lesin that the state should retain control of only one national television channel, one national radio station and one news agency.

But Seslavinsky added that media privatization would be phased in to coincide with privatization in other sectors.