Russian Press Minister: Authorities Showed No "discrimination" Against The Tv-6 Channel

Head of the Russian Press Ministry Mikhail Lesin is confident that authorities demonstrated "no discrimination" against the TV-6 channel when the decision was taken to liquidate the Moscow Independent Broadcasting Corporation" which operated the TV-6 channel. The Corporation broadcasts on the TV-6 channel. While speaking live at the Ekho Moskvy ("Moscow Echo") radio station, Lesin described the existing situation "as the personalities' conflict" based on "relations between shareholders". The minister acknowledged that "the conflict, undoubtedly, was of a political colouring though had nothing to do with authorities". Lesin stressed that "the state did not participate and would not in any way participate" in the conflict between Boris Berezovsky, actual owner of the TV-6 channel, and the LUkoil company. In the opinion of the minister, liquidation of the "Moscow Independent Broadcasting Corporation" closed joint-stock company could not be viewed as a result of pressure put on the freedom of speech. According to him, it was, most probably, "the result of an erroneous development policy of the mass media market". According to Lesin, "during the first years of reforms and the start of the formation of the mass media market a state policy was absent and media market development was carried out according to a specific scenario". The minister stated that "the state did not pay adequate attention to the media market and did not participate in its formation as a social responsibility market", otherwise "there would have been fewer problems".

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