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Russia calls on Council of Europe to react to shutdown of three TV channels in Ukraine

The TV Channels have already stated they consider the presidential order a political persecution

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. Russian Permanent Representation to the Council of Europe called on the organization Wednesday to react to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s order regarding sanctions against the opposition TV channels - 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK, the mission said on Twitter.

"On February 2, the president of Ukraine introduced sanctions against 3 Ukrainian large TV-channels 112, NewsOne and ZIK for 5 years. As a result, they stopped broadcasting in the country. We urge the Council of Europe to react to this violation of the freedom of expression by Ukrainian authorities," the mission said.

Earlier Wednesday, Russian Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Konstantin Kosachev told TASS that the Zelensky’s order is a violation of Kiev’s obligations before the OSCE and the Council of Europe on freedom of expression and press.

He added that, since the Euromaidan, "nothing has changed in this regard, despite the new faces in the country’s leadership."

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky enacted the decision of the Council on National Security and Defense on imposition of five year-long sanctions against the abovementioned TV channels and their owner, the Opposition Platform - For Life (OPFL) political party lawmaker Taras Kozak. These sanctions involve "voiding or suspension of licenses and cessation of broadcasting service." The lawmaker was restricted in his right to use his property, and move his capitals outside of Ukraine.

On Tuesday, all three TV channels have stopped broadcasting on air, only livestreaming in YouTube now. The TV Channels have already stated they consider the presidential order a political persecution, and OPFL called it an act of usurping.