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UN speaks in support of freedom of expression after Kiev blocks access to Russian websites

May 19, 21:21 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Among the blacklisted entities are Russian social networking sites Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki, and also e-mail services Mail.ru and Yandex

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© REUTERS/Eric Thayer

UNITED NATIONS, May 19. /TASS/. The United States Secretariat supports the freedom of expression and communication and rejects any attempt to restrain civil liberties, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, said on Friday commenting on Kiev’s decision to block access to a number of Russian internet resources.

"We are aware of the latest accounts of this particular action. Our point of principle of this is as you know is that we support the freedom of expression and we are opposed to any efforts to have any major steps to constrain freedom of expression and freedom of communication," he said.

On May 16, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko enforced the decision of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council on expanding the list of Russian nationals and entities subject to Ukrainian sanctions and extending earlier sanctions. Among the blacklisted entities are Russian social networking sites Vkontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki (Classmates), and also e-mail services Mail.ru and Yandex. Ukraine’s presidential press service said that Internet providers will block access to these websites in the country.

Kiev claims that Russian social networks are allegedly used to "illegally collect information, stage propaganda, recruit agents and distribute pirated content."

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