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OSCE needs to assess stripping Russian media in Ukraine state bodies of accreditation — MP

Ukraine's parliament decided to deprive Russian journalists in Ukraine’s governmental authorities of an accreditation until Kiev’s military operation in eastern Ukraine ends
OSCE officials in Ukraine Danil Bordrov/TASS
OSCE officials in Ukraine
© Danil Bordrov/TASS

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic should give an adequate assessment to the Ukrainian parliament’s move on Thursday to deprive Russian media outlets in the country’s state bodies of accreditation, Russian lawmakers have said.

A total of 239 Ukrainian lawmakers voted on Thursday in favor of suspending the journalists’ accreditation. Russian journalists, TV producers, cameramen and support staff of a range of Russian media outlets in Ukraine’s governmental authorities will not have an accreditation until Kiev’s military operation in eastern Ukraine ends.

Irina Yarovaya, who chairs the State Duma’s anti-corruption and security committee, said the parliament’s decision "contradicts all the principles of the international law on freedom and independence of mass media."

The chairman of the State Duma’s committee on the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) affairs, Leonid Slutsky, said the move is rather "strange" for a parliament of a country, which has signed an association deal with the European Union.

"This is not the first case of abusing the freedom of speech and violating those European values and democratic principles," Slutsky said, adding that Ukrainian journalists work in Russia "without hindrance" and no one plans to strip them of their right to cover events in the country.

Leonid Levin, the head of the State Duma committee on information policy, said he regrets the decision as it "hampers an information exchange" and will not allow Russians to get "full, objective and comprehensive information" on what happens in Ukraine’s parliament.

The head of the State Duma's department on public and media relations, Yuri Shuvalov, said the decision, which was announced during the summit on Ukraine settlement in Minsk, is "an attempt to exert pressure on the situation related to Donbas."

The relevant list of Russian media outlets to be stripped of accreditation will be compiled by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU). The parliament has ordered Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers, the Foreign Ministry and other central bodies of the executive branch, and also the Verkhovna Rada’s press service to initiate the necessary measures within two days.