Russian PM’s Arrival Met With Security, Limited Media Access

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev landed at Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday evening and was greeted by a delegation of senior Cambodian government officials and a large security contingent—but few members of the local media, who were largely barred from covering his visit.

Mr. Medvedev is in Cambodia on a four-day visit combining both sightseeing and official meetings. On Monday, the prime minister toured the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap province, wearing a madras shirt and Indiana Jones-style fedora, before jetting to the capital.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's limousine leaves Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s limousine leaves Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Upon arriving in Phnom Penh, Mr. Medvedev—the premier of the world’s sixth-largest economy—was greeted by Industry Minister Cham Prasidh and Tourism Minister Thong Khon, and a security detail of at least 100 police and soldiers, some outfitted in full combat gear.

According to the National Police, more than 10,000 security personnel have been deployed to protect Mr. Medvedev. While the foreign dignitary’s trip has been met with heightened security, it has also been marked so far by restricted media access to the foreign leader.

While Russian television crews captured footage of Mr. Medvedev descending the steps of his jet onto the tarmac in Phnom Penh, only reporters from two state-owned media outlets—Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP) and Television Kampuchea (TVK)—were allowed close.

Journalists from five other news agencies were barred from the tarmac as Mr. Medvedev exited his plane and climbed into a waiting limousine.

AKP and TVK were also the only media organizations cleared to follow Mr. Medvedev as he toured Angkor Wat.

Ouk Kimseng, an undersecretary of state at the Information Ministry, said the decision to allow only representatives of state-owned media to cover the two events was made at the behest of the Russian delegation.

“The visit in Siem Reap and others today were just private, and they didn’t need media,” he added.

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