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Closure of Vesti Radio in Ukraine attack on free speech — Moscow

March 10, 23:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On March 3, the national broadcasting board revoked Vesti Radio’s license to broadcasting in the two major biggest cities, Kiev and Kharkov

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MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Closure of Vesti Radio in Ukraine represents a direct attack on free speech and Russia expects an appropriate reaction to it from the OSCE representative on freedom of the media, Dunja Mijatovic, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

"We consider the closing down of the radio as an immediate encroachment on free speech," it said. "We call on Ukraine’s supervisors in the West to exert due influence on the officialdom in Kiev in what concerns compliance with the international obligations the country undersigned."

Moscow expects "Ms. Mijatovic, the OSCE representative on freedom of the media will give an appropriate assessment to what has happened to Vesti Radio."

The ministry called the decision of the Ukrainian national broadcasting board highly regrettable, saying along with this was a yet another step in the chain of restrictive actions.

"The Kiev authorities are seeking in this way to restrict the operations of independent media that try to inform the audiences on the viewpoints regarding events on the domestic and international scene, which run counter to the official positions," the commentary said.

On March 3, the national broadcasting board revoked Vesti Radio’s license to broadcasting in the two major biggest cities, Kiev and Kharkov, in spite of a court resolution outlawing any such actions.

Divosvit broadcasting company, the owner of Vesti Radio has filed complaints over the illegitimacy of the decision with the Prosecutor General’s Office, the National Anticorruption Bureau and the National Police.

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