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US State Department: Kiev should pay particular attention to media freedom

March 28, 2014, 13:01 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

The US State Department urges Ukraine's government to quickly settle the matter

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© EPA/ANDY RAIN

WASHINGTON, March 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine should pay particular attention to protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, including the freedom of mass media, US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said on Thursday, commenting at ITAR-TASS request on the suspension of broadcasting of Russian television channels in Ukraine.

As Washington was informed, Kiev made the decision because activities of the Russian channels did not meet Ukrainian standards relating to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television.

The US State Department urges Ukraine's government to quickly settle the matter and pay particular attention to protection of freedoms, including the freedom of mass media. It is very important. Fair standards must be applied. A ban must be imposed for clear legal violations, but not explained by the programs’ contents, Harf noted.

When asked whether the US government shared the viewpoint of OSCE representative for media freedom Dunja Mijatovic, who said such a decision was justified if it served for protection of fundamental values, Harf said she could not judge as she had not known about the statement, but noted their position was that the freedom of speech was very important and it was enshrined in their constitution.

On March 25, the Kiev administrative court ruled to halt broadcasting of Russian channels in Ukraine during the period of consideration of the suit brought by the national council for television and radio. The council filed the suit on March 24 to check lawfulness of the work of Russian television channels and recommended providers to halt broadcasting of the following Russian channels Vesti, Rossiya 24, Channel One, RTR Planeta and NTV-Mir.

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