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Moscow criticizes OSCE’s assessments of freedom of press in Ukraine

April 18, 2014, 18:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia thinks it inadmissible to put an equal mark between blatant physical violence against journalists in Ukraine and the process of the adaptation of Crimean mass media to the Russian laws
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© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khamelyanin

MOSCOW, April 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) ignores geopolitical changes in the region and makes incorrect references by mentioning Crimea, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

It also said that, for some unclear reason, the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights prefers to keep silent about the stunning outrages of extremists and nationalists against some candidates for presidency and on restrictions for entry of the Ukrainian territory by Russian nationals.

Russia thinks it inadmissible to put an equal mark between blatant physical violence against journalists in Ukraine and the process of the adaptation of Crimean mass media to the Russian laws, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday, commenting on the pronouncements by Dunja Mijatovic, the Representative on Freedom of the Media of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“We think it categorically inadmissible when the OSCE Representatives equates blatant physical violence against journalists who highlight the developments in Ukraine and the process of the adaptation of the mass media working in the territory of a Russian constituent region to the requirements of the national legislation,” the ministry stressed.

 

Presidential elections in Ukraine

Russia’s Foreign Ministry doubts that the election campaign in Ukraine could be free and fair in conditions when presidential contenders are deprived of a possibility to voice their position and when they are attacked by radicals.

“In the midst of ongoing presidential campaign Oleh Tsariov, a presidential candidate, was beaten up by radicals,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday, commenting on the situation over violations of human rights in Ukraine. “Moreover, instead of offering his medical aid, the radicals took him to the Prosecutor General’s Office, where he was interrogated. Tsariov is suspected of ‘encroaching on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine.’ If his ‘guilt’ is proved he might be stripped off the status of a lawmaker and presidential candidate.”

“Mykhailo Dobkin (another candidate for Ukrainian president was sprinkled with a disinfectant known as brilliant green and sprayed with flour, his bodyguards were beaten,” the ministry went on. “As a result, Dobkin was unable to take part in open televised debates.”

“These rampageous incidents vividly demonstrate the actual situation with the freedom of speech in Ukraine, it would be right to say, an absolute absence of it. They demonstrate that those who have a position that differs from that of the Kiev regime and the Right Sector radicals backing this regime are facing threats of physical violence,” the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

“So, it is only logical to ask - what kind of guarantees of a free and fair election campaign could be in conditions when presidential candidates have no possibility to voice their positions and when they are attacked by radicals,” the ministry stressed.

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