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NEW YORK, September 17. /TASS/. The Ukrainian authorities should remove all reporters from their sanctions list and not prevent them from freely covering events in Ukraine, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a statement on its website on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Ukrainian authorities announced that entry to the country was banned for one year for 41 foreign journalists and bloggers. The CPJ criticized the decision and expressed regret. Earlier Thursday, Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council excluded some Western European journalists’ names from the sanctions list.
"We are glad that Ukrainian authorities have reacted to the international outrage that the ban provoked by removing six international journalists from the list," Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said.
"Now, President Poroshenko's government should remove all journalists and bloggers from the list and allow them to cover the region freely," Ognianova said as quoted in the CPJ’s statement.
On Wednesday, September 16, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko approved Ukraine's sanctions list, which also comprised head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko and LPR leader Plotnitsky, as well as ministers and senior lawmakers of the self-proclaimed republics.
Overall, Kiev's restrictive measures embrace 105 legal entities and 388 individuals, including high-ranking officials and a number of media employees from Russia and other countries.
In particular, employees of TASS, RIA Novosti, Izvestiya and Rossiyskaya Gazeta publications, RUPTLY news agency, Vzglyad.ru, NTV, Channel 1, director general of the Rossiya Segodnya news agency Dmitry Kiselyov found themselves under sanctions.
TASS employees on the list include Washington correspondent Andrey Shitov, head of the agency’s bureau in South Africa Alexander Nechayev and TASS European countries department employee Andrey Surzhansky.
The punitive measures against blacklisted persons include visa bans and asset freezes.
The blacklist comprised also the names of two Spanish correspondents, three BBC journalists and one reporter from Germany.
Earlier Thursday, Ukrainian Information Policy Minister Yury Stets admitted that the list of media representatives that came under Ukrainian sanctions is questionable and needs to be amended. After that, President Pyotr Poroshenko instructed the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council to exclude the names of Western journalists from the blacklist.