Russian Foreign Ministry: OPCW not rushing to investigate chemical incident in SyriaRussian Politics & Diplomacy May 25, 21:28
Russia’s legendary barque Kruzenshtern calls at Belgian portSociety & Culture May 25, 20:26
OPEC and non-OPEC countries to develop cooperation outside Vienna agreementBusiness & Economy May 25, 19:44
Russia squared-off with Western media blitz to smear World Cup preparationsSport May 25, 19:35
NATO seeks to continue and expand dialogue with RussiaWorld May 25, 19:01
WADA offers pole vaulter Isinbayeva post of ambassador for clean sports in Russia — sourceSport May 25, 18:57
Lavrov keeps close eye on situation with jailed Russian pilot in USRussian Politics & Diplomacy May 25, 18:51
Belkomur rail project brings new opportunities to Russia’s Arctic regionsBusiness & Economy May 25, 18:46
Russia to build first helicopter carrier by 2022Military & Defense May 25, 17:41
KIEV, May 17. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko should immediately lift sanctions against Russian social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, as well as Mail.ru and Yandex companies, and take steps to protect freedom of expression and information in Ukraine, Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
"It’s an inexcusable violation of Ukrainians’ right to information of their choice, and the European Union and Ukraine’s other international partners should immediately call on Ukraine to reverse it," Tanya Cooper, Ukraine researcher at Human Rights Watch, was quoted as saying. "In a single move Poroshenko dealt a terrible blow to freedom of expression in Ukraine," she said.
"This is yet another example of the ease with which President Poroshenko unjustifiably tries to control public discourse in Ukraine. Poroshenko may try to justify this latest step, but it is a cynical, politically expedient attack on the right to information affecting millions of Ukrainians, and their personal and professional lives," Cooper said.
The decree would be hard to enforce without changing the law as "only a court can order internet service providers to take action against a website," Human Rights Watch said with reference to Oksana Romaniuk, executive director of Kyiv-based Institute of Mass Information.
On May 16, Pyotr Poroshenko brought into effect a decision made by the country’s National Security and Defense Council on expanding sanctions on Russia. Sanctions have been imposed on several TV channels and companies, including 1C, ABBYY and their Ukrainian subsidiaries. Also, Russia’s VKontakte and Odnoklassniki social networks, Mail.ru and Yandex companies have been banned. Vkontakte is the largest and most popular social networking website both in Russia and Ukraine. Odnoklassniki ranks fifth in popularity in these countries. Both websites were founded in 2006 and belong to Mail.Ru Group Russian Internet company.