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Ukraine ban on Russian media retaliatory measure, says lawmaker

March 05, 2015, 16:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW

This decision does not conform to Ukraine’s international obligations, but most important, it runs contrary to common sense, a senior Russian lawmaker believes

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MOSCOW, 5 March. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry decision to suspend media accreditation for Russian news organizations at government agency events is a "retaliatory measure" hindering normality in bilateral relations, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Thursday.

"We can only lift our hands in dismay," said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian parliament's upper house foreign affairs committee.

"This decision does not conform to Ukraine’s international obligations. But most important, it runs contrary to common sense," Kosachev said, adding that any "attempts to restrict and to shield the Ukrainian population from receiving information have no chance of success" at a time when there are "many alternative channels" providing information.

The move not only "fails to solve anything" but also "presents Ukraine in an unfavourable light" as a state seeking to "introduce its own monopoly on truth", the parliamentarian said.

"It is indecorous for Ukraine if it proclaims itself a democratic state," Kosachev told Rossiya-24 television news channel. Such a measure "will not contribute to the future normalization of Russian-Ukrainian relations", he said, noting that journalists could "play a positive role in it".

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday suspension of accreditation for Russian media to its events. "Starting from this week, we do not provide accreditation for Russian media [to events held at Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry]," the ministry’s press service told TASS in response to a request on accreditation to a media briefing with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

Ukraine's SBU security service has listed more than 100 Russian media organizations being stripped of rights to send journalists to all official events at Ukrainian ministries and agencies until Kiev’s military operation in east Ukraine ends. According to SBU spokeswoman Yelena Gitlyanskaya, TASS news agency is on the list.

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