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Russia expects OSCE to react to shelling of journalists in Donbass — foreign ministry

May 19, 20:42 UTC+3
On May 18, an NTV television channel camera crew came under fire from the direction of Ukraine’s positions in the area of the Gorlovka-Yasinovataya highway
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© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, archive

SOCHI, May 19. /TASS/. Russia hopes the shelling of journalists in Donbass will get a proper assessment by relevant international institutions, including the Office of Representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

"I can say that we have established a good contact with OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic. She really does very much to protect the rights of journalists across the world, and Ukraine for her is one of the focal points," Zakharova said.

"We hope a relevant assessment will be given," she said.

Zakharova suggested establishing an institution that would finally make it possible to solve problems in the sphere of freedom of speech in Ukraine.

"It’s necessary to go over to specific actions. Certainly Ukraine is an independent state that conducts an independent, partially independent policy. But we are perfectly aware that the topic of Ukraine is on the agenda of entire Europe, and not only Europe but also the United States and other countries," she said.

"So it’s necessary to do everything possible to create an institution protecting journalists in Ukraine," Zakharova said.

She added that the talk is about introducing clear rules of accreditation for all media employees without exception, so that journalists are not divided by the principle of ethnic origin and political loyalty, so that they have access to facilities that interest them.

"For the Ukrainian authorities to finally start implementing the commitments in the sphere of journalists’ security taken within the framework of international organizations," Zakharova said.

"I am perfectly aware why, in particular, the fate of Russians, Russian journalists is ignored. They don’t like what they write and say. But it seems to me it’s necessary to realize that they do not show something invented but what really exists," she said.

"It’s in the interests of Kiev - to understand what is going on on the problematic borders and overcome these problems instead of putting them under the carpet and pretending that there’s nothing," Zakharova said.

On May 18, an NTV television channel camera crew came under fire from the direction of Ukraine’s positions in the area of the Gorlovka-Yasinovataya highway. A few days earlier, All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) journalists came under fire in the same place.

Participants of the Contact Group on settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine on April 29 agreed on the occasion of the Orthodox Easter to establish a regular "regime of silence" starting from midnight April 30. But the militia and Kiev’s army keep accusing each other of truce violations.

The Contact Group participants on February 12, 2015 signed in Minsk the Package of Measures on implementation of the Minsk Agreements, earlier agreed with members of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine).

The document, dubbed "Minsk-2", envisions in particular pardon through enactment of a law forbidding persecution and punishment of people in relation to events in Donbass, cessation of fire, withdrawal of heavy armaments from the contact line.

It also stipulates start of dialogue on restoration of social and economic ties of Kiev and Donbass, as well as reform of the Ukrainian constitution aimed at decentralization and strengthening of the "special status of separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions"


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