09:26 GMT29 February 2020
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    Fearing the slightest signs of dissent, Kiev is moving toward building an authoritarian state in which freedom of speech and access to information are severely restricted, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko enacted the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) to expand the list of sanctioned Russian individuals and legal entities and to extend the duration of these sanctions. Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, TV channels Zvezda, TVC, NTV Plus, RenTV, RBC and some other Russian media outlets are among the sanctioned entities.

    "A devil-may-care attitude of the Ukrainian authorities to any international norms of law and morality, their commitments in the field of protecting human rights and freedoms have become commonplace," the ministry said in a statement commenting on the Kiev's move.

    "Fearing the slightest signs of dissent in the country, the Kiev regime moves with seven-league steps towards building an authoritarian state in which freedom of speech and unhindered access to information are subject to stringent restrictions," the statement said.

    The new anti-Russian sanctions introduced by the Ukrainian authorities hardly correspond to the principles adopted by both Europe and the world, as well as to the basic foundations foundations of civil society, Moscow added.

    "All this hardly corresponds to the accepted European and international principles, as well as the notion of the foundations of civil society."

    "It would be interesting to observe the reaction of our Western partners, who are always concerned about the problems of democracy and information security, on such a blatant and impudent violation by Kiev of generally accepted international norms and obligations," the statement said.

    Kiev has imposed several rounds of anti-Moscow sanctions citing Russia's alleged meddling in the Ukrainian affairs. Russian officials have repeatedly refuted the allegations of both Kiev and its Western partners. Commenting on Tuesday's decision of the Ukrainian authorities, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow regarded Kiev's decision to expand sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities as another manifestation of an unfriendly and short-sighted policy against Russia.


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