Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 38

The Russian Duma is taking steps to ban reporters of Russia’s second TV channel, ORT, from its sessions. (AP, February 21) Parliamentarians are angry over the way ORT covered last week’s debate of a bill banning the sale of pornographic material from public places and restricting the hours during which erotic movies can be shown on TV. ORT’s parliamentary correspondent, Pavel Ryazantsev, opened his report of last Thursday’s debate with the words "All this morning the Duma talked about sex," and went on to show a clip of a radical Communist deputy being expelled from the chamber after making a suggestive remark about "Women of Russia" deputy Yelena Lakhova. (ORT, February 20) Lawmakers took revenge on February 20 by giving preliminary approval to a measure revoking Ryazantsev’s accreditation "for systematically biased reporting on the activity of the State Duma and discrediting it." The move was sharply criticized by ORT and other TV stations. ORT asked: "Since Ryazantsev’s report consisted almost entirely of deputies’ actual speeches, are the respected Duma members sure they have sent their grievances to the right address?" (OPT, February 21)

IMF Delays Payment Of Monthly Loan to Russia.