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BRUSSELS, August 31. /TASS/. The European Commission is aware of Russian reporter Anna Kurbatova’s detention in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and calls on the Ukrainian authorities to refrain from imposing unnecessary limitations on the free flow of information, European Commission Spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told TASS.
"We expect Ukrainian authorities to refrain from imposing unnecessary limitations on the free flow of information and of media," she said.
According to Kocijancic, the Kiev authorities should abide by fundamental human rights while ensuring the security of the country’s citizens. "I would just highlight that protection of the national security and citizens must be done in full respect of fundamental rights and freedoms," the European Commission spokeswoman pointed out. "Any such decisions should include careful consideration of the right to freedom of expression," she added.
Kocijancic also said that the European Commission was keeping an eye on the situation involving two Spanish reporters who had been expelled from Ukraine on August 24. A thing to note is that one of Kurbatova’s reports covered this particular incident. The International Federation of Journalists condemned this step and asked the Spanish authorities to demand explanation from Kiev.
Russian TV broadcasters reported on Wednesday that Channel One reporter Kurbatova had been abducted in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. Later, news came that she had actually been detained by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) which claimed that her reports were "infringing on the national interests" of Ukraine. On Wednesday night, Kurbatova was deported to Russia.
While working in Ukraine, the Channel One reporter was receiving threats over her coverage of events happening in the country. Before she disappeared, Anna was working on a report concerning the persecution of journalists in Ukraine, while a few days ago, Channel One aired her report covering the military parade which took place in Kiev on Ukraine’s Independence Day. The reporter particularly said that the parade was "a march of dependence," while the date itself marked "a sad holiday." In her opinion, Kiev has returned "to the turbulent 90s," while Ukraine "is totally dependent on America and Europe".
Meanwhile, Channel One said that Kurbatova was expected to arrive in Moscow on Thursday night.