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Ukrainian president slaps sanctions on 112 Ukraine and NewsOne TV channels

The sanctions will be in effect for five years

KIEV, February 3. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky authorized the National Security Council’s sanctions imposed on the country’s 112 Ukraine TV channel and its regional subsidiaries, as well as on the NewsOne TV channel, his press service reported late on Tuesday.

The presidential decree, published on the official website, orders "to enact the February 2, 2021 ruling of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council" to impose "personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)."

The sanctions will be in effect for five years. They will be imposed on the 112 Ukraine TV and radio broadcaster and its regional channels (Novy Format, Ariadna TV, TV Vybor, PartnerTV and Leader TV), as well as on the NewsOne TV channel and ZIK TV.

Those measures envisage "annulling or suspending licenses and other permissions," as well as the ban to use Ukrainian TV and radio frequencies. Their assets will be blocked, and their economic and financial liabilities will be frozen. The management will not be allowed to transfer financial assets to foreign countries, engage in transactions with securities and open accounts in foreign banks.

Besides, Personal sanctions were imposed on Taras Kozak, a lawmaker representing the Opposition Platform - For Life party, who owns 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK via Ukraine's Mediaholding Novini.

Kozak will be restricted in using and managing his assets. His trade operations will be restricted, his economic and financial liabilities will be frozen. This is the first time in Ukraine’s history when personal sanctions are imposed on a Ukrainian citizen and a Verkhovna Rada lawmaker.

The decree comes into force immediately after being published, effectively ending the broadcast of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK.

Mikhail Podolyak, an advisor to the head of the Ukrainian President's Office, explained the decision to impose sanctions by the need to counter hostile propaganda.

"This decision is absolutely transparent. <...> Those channels are very actively and frequently used as instruments of extraneous, foreign propaganda in Ukraine," he told the Focus magazine.

According to the official, the sanctions come as a response to "daily informational and propaganda attacks" and "have nothing to do with media freedoms.".