"There is nothing alarming or unlawful in journalists wanting to look into what prominent figures are doing," Gusev told Interfax on Friday in remarks about McFaul's angry reaction.
file photo "It would have been different if attempts had been made to look into his private life or to tap his conversations, which is illegal. As to journalists' wish to learn more about a public figure - an ambassador, a patriarch or politician - it is their lawful right," he said.
NTV posted a video on its website on Thursday, in which McFaul is talking with young people, who introduced themselves as reporters and who insisted for several minutes that he tell them which issues he would discuss with Ponomaryov. McFaul said angrily in return: "It looks like I am in a barbarian country. This is abnormal. It never happens in my country, in England, Germany, or China. It happens only here and only with you," he said. He also said that reporters were violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations.
"Aren't you ashamed of doing this? This insults your country, do you understand this?" McFaul told the journalists.
The ambassador also pointed out that he was not wearing a coat while they kept interviewing him and that this was not polite of them, but they still went on to ask him more and more questions.
McFaul tried to explain to the reporters that his meetings with members of civil society were absolutely legitimate and conventional. "This is normal. This is called diplomatic work," he said.
The journalists, however, refused to answer when McFaul repeatedly asked them how they had learned that he was going to meet with Ponomaryov.
NTV told Interfax in commenting on the posting of this video on its website, "We first considered this footage private video. But, reading Lev Ponomaryov comments on the matter to Interfax, we reviewed the scope of the event. Therefore, we decided to publish this footage on our website."
Ponomaryov had told Interfax earlier on Thursday that unidentified people attempted to provoke McFaul while he was visiting the office of his NGO.
"I see this as a provocation. An atmosphere of harassment is being created," he said.
He said people with video camera who introduced themselves as correspondents, and Cossacks, stood at his organization's office on Maly Kislovsky Pereulok in Moscow waiting for McFaul to arrive.
"There is nothing alar