PHNOM PENH —
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is visiting Cambodia this week, but journalists have been banned from covering some parts of the visit.
Medvedev began his three-day visit on Monday, in a trip meant to strengthen ties between the two countries, which have not been particularly strong in the past.
Prime Minister Hun Sen will sign a number of agreements concerning counter-terrorism, terrorist financing and money laundering.
Russia has typically remained at a distance from Cambodia, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, the two sides are set to mark their 60th anniversary of relations next year. State media covered his arrival Monday.
However, Medvedev also requested through the Cambodian Foreign Ministry that media not cover his “personal” visits to the Royal Palace, in Phnom Penh, and Angkor Wat, in Siem Reap.
Moeun Chhean Nariddh, director of the Cambodia Institute for Media Studies, told VOA Khmer that the request did not respect the principle of media freedom.
“If Russia, which is a super power country, maintains media restrictions, I think that our country will easily to bend toward Russia and other countries that have not had clear democratic stances, or new democratic countries may follow that,” he said.