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Senior diplomat: Ukraine’s ban on Russian media harms interests of millions

February 21, 2015, 4:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. The ban on the operation of Russian journalists and mass media in Ukraine harms the interests of millions in that country, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and rule of law, Konstantin Dolgov, said on Friday.

Speaking on the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock news channel about Kiev’s decision to revoke the accreditation of Russian journalists at Ukrainian bodies of state power Dolgov said that as many as fifteen Russian news channels were still banned in Ukraine.

"Now we have this decision to cancel accreditation," he said. "It is nothing but a systematic policy by the Ukrainian authorities abusing Ukraine’s liabilities in the sphere of human rights, the freedom of speech, the freedom of mass media and access to information."

He said such actions merely stepped up the media blockade and added fuel to information war that have been mentioned so often of late.

"Also, there is the obvious harm to the millions of citizens of Ukraine," Dolgov said. "They are stripped of the legitimate right to have access to information telecast by Russian mass media in - a language spoken by millions of people in Ukraine. It’s nothing but abuse of Ukrainian citizens’ legitimate rights.

"Regrettably, one has to say once again that the response from the international agencies concerned, in the first place the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the OSCE commission for the freedom of mass media, still leaves much to be desired," Dolgov believes. "It is not always quite adequate. The response must be far harsher."

"We still hope that the OSCE, the European Union, and the United States, in a word, the very same Western countries that are in the habit of talking so much about the freedom of the mass media will cause a corresponding sobering effect on Kiev at last," Dolgov said.

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