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Ukraine TV channel Inter removes Russia New Year programmes over licence-stripping threats

January 03, 2015, 5:29 UTC+3 KIEV
Overnight to January 1, Inter has broadcast a New Year programme of a Russian TV channel which featured artists who once voiced their public support to Moscow position regarding the crisis in Ukraine
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KIEV, January 3. /TASS/. Ukrainian TV channel Inter cancelled broadcasting of several earlier announced Russian-made programmes due to calls to strip it of its licence made by several politicians, including Secretary of Ukrainian National Security Council Aleksander Turchinov, the TV channel said in a statement posted on its website.

“Due to a string of groundless public accusations against TV channel Inter we had to make drastic changes in our festive broadcasting schedule,” the statement said, noting that “since the evening of January 1, 2015 the Inter television has removed all festive concerts and musicals, including those of our production announced earlier.”

“These steps are a forced response to the hysteria which has sparked up over the TV channel on January 1, 2015, when Inter came under a shower of provocative unfounded charges for showing entertaining festive projects, though they fully meet Ukrainian legislation requirements.”

The TV channel also noted that “they have a practice to work in strict compliance with Ukrainian law, not in information chaos, when a threat to revoke a licence from the TV channel has emerged artificially on the basis of unproven accusations in social networks and public emotional statements by several state officials and politicians.”

Overnight to January 1, Inter has broadcast a New Year programme of a Russian TV channel which featured artists who once voiced their public support to Moscow’s position regarding the crisis in Ukraine.

Ukrainian politicians, including Turchinov and Culture Minister Vyacheslav Kirilenko said they were indignant with Inter’s policy. Different threats were cast against the TV channel, including a ban for broadcasting.

In this regard, the Ukrainian national television and radio broadcasting council will consider January 15 the issue of broadcasting a performance of Russian entertainers on the Inter television on the New Year night. “I want to invite public figures, representatives of TV channels, members of parliamentary committee for the freedom of speech and information policy, the National Security and Defence Council to attend the meeting in order not only to settle the situation, but also to draw conclusions,” national council’s chief Yuri Artemenko said. Meanwhile, he noted that only a court may strip Inter of its licence.

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