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Ukraine’s intent to ban Russian journalists from entering EU violates international rules

July 15, 2014, 16:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Interior Ministry would initiate a request to the European Union to ban entry for owners of some Russian television companies and leading Russian journalists
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Head of the Russian Union of Journalists Vsevolod Bogdanov

Head of the Russian Union of Journalists Vsevolod Bogdanov

© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Savenkov

MOSCOW, July 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s statement of intent to initiate a request to the European Union to ban entry for a large group of Russian journalists means that Ukraine’s authorities have something to conceal, says the head of the Russian Union of Journalists, Vsevolod Bogdanov.

“This intention means that the Ukrainian authorities have to conceal something illegal and wrong,” Bogdanov told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday. “This is a bad decision for the Ukrainian authorities’ reputation. It certainly violates international rules of journalists’ rights.”

“We should stop using the language of hate and proceed to the language of defense of truth,” he said. “We have worked for many months in Vienna, meeting with representatives of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and Ukrainian journalists, and discussing ways to help news professionals covering military activities and conflicts.”

“A large-scale event will soon take place in Dagomys (in Russia's southern resort city of Sochi), which will be attended by Russian, Ukrainian and foreign journalists,” he said. “They will consider how to move from information war to dialogue.”

Anton Gerashchenko, aide to the Ukrainian interior minister, said on Monday the Interior Ministry would initiate a request to the European Union to ban entry for owners of some Russian television companies and leading Russian journalists.

“We will demand that the European Union should ban owners of Russian television companies and leading journalists from entering the EU territory,” he said. “The Interior Ministry’s position will be the following - to pool efforts with the Ukrainian government to have these citizens be banned from entering the European Union, Canada, the United States and other countries of the civilised world.”

The Interior Ministry would refer this initiative to the Foreign Ministry, Gerashchenko said. Among Russians subject to the entry ban he named those who had been awarded by the Russian government for coverage of developments in Ukraine, including Konstantin Ernst, Grigory Krichevsky, Ashot Gabrelyanov, Anton Zlatopolsky, and Yulia Bystritskaya.

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