A senior Russian diplomat said Wednesday that he was worried that the U.S. government was suppressing media freedoms amid revelations that the Justice Department had gathered records of phone calls by Associated Press journalists.
"We draw attention to the latest statements by The Associated Press regarding wiretapping," Konstantin Dolgov, the Foreign Ministry's human rights envoy, said on Twitter.
He added that the situation represented a worrisome example of a state attacking media freedoms.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who oversees the Justice Department, has defended the move to collect AP phone records in an effort to hunt down the sources of information for a May 7, 2012, AP story that disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen to stop an airliner bombing plot around the anniversary of the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
Holder has called the story the result of "a very serious leak, a very grave leak."
The AP and other U.S. news organizations, however, have complained that the U.S. government overstepped its boundaries.
Material from AP was included in this report.