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Russian FM: OSCE media freedom representative’s remarks on Ukraine distort reality

April 23, 2014, 22:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 23. /ITAR-TASS/. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic’s remarks on the situation in Ukraine distort reality and undermines the authority of this international organisation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, April 23.

Moscow has noted “the surprisingly biased analysis of the situation regarding the freedom of the media in Ukraine, which was made by Dunja Mijatovic in an interview to CNN after a visit to that country”, the ministry said.

“The impression is that while announcing her assessments the OSCE representative does not understand or does not want to understand the real causes of the extraordinary danger hanging over the freedom of expression in Ukraine. She mentioned only cursorily more than 200 attacks on journalists on the territory controlled by the Kiev authorities. This is probably the first time after the end of World War Two that representatives of ultra-radical, neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic movements have come to power in Europe. It is not surprising that they have basically imposed political censorship in the country,” the ministry said.

Mijatovic’s position “requires her to conduct an objective review of facts and help solve problems pertaining to the violation of the freedom of the media”, it said.

“In accordance with her mandate, the OSCE representative should have urged those who are holding power in Kiev to begin investigating offences committed against journalists by extremist groups and restrictions on the freedom of the media. Dunja Mijatovic’s mission is to make Kiev correct the situation. She could have publicly demanded during the interview that journalist Konstantin Dolgov, who had been arrested in Kiev under far-fetched pretext, be released,” the ministry said.

Russia “has repeatedly drawn the attention of the authoritative OSCE institution to the essence of the latest developments in Ukraine’s mass media”. “But why does Dunja Mijatovic see the problem elsewhere again, namely in the legitimate wish of the Russian-speaking population in the South-East of Ukraine, which has been cut off by Kiev from Russian television channels, to know the truth? Once again, the OSCE representative mixed up the cause and the effect. Instead of giving an honest assessment of the atmosphere of information intolerance created by Kiev, the CNN viewers for some reason were told about Russian Crimea again,” the ministry said. “And this was done in a distorted manner, ignoring the fact that people had for the first time in history had their linguistic and cultural diversity legitimately recognised and could freely choose the Russian information space where many international channels, including CNN, are available,” the ministry said.

“We would not like to believe that such high-ranking OSCE official is intentionally manipulating facts,” it added.

“Nevertheless, there is the stubborn reluctance to see reality. These actions are not only imposing a distorted perception of the events in Ukraine upon the rest of the world but also undermining the authority of the whole OSCE,” the ministry said.

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