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    Alexei Pushkov, Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs

    Ukraine’s Sanctions Against Russian Media Contradict EU Conventions

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    Ukraine’s new targeted sanctions against Russian media contradict all European conventions on the freedom of information, Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov said Tuesday, adding that Kiev is a party to said conventions.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko enacted the National Security and Defense Council’s (NSDC) decision on expanding the list of sanctioned Russian individuals and legal entities and on extending the terms of sanctions. The extended list involves 1,228 individuals and 468 legal entities, including Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, TV channels Zvezda, TVC, NTV Plus, RenTV, RBC and others.

    "This contradicts all European conventions on freedom of information and freedom of opinion, which Ukraine has signed earlier," Pushkov said.

    Pushkov noted that Kiev's move also violated European conventions on freedom of expression despite Ukraine’s attempts to "integrate" into the European Union.

    The senior member of the Federation Council, Russian parliament's upper house, also described Kiev’s extension of the list of sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities as useless, adding that he was unaware of what kind of goals Ukraine could be pursing by expanding the list.

    Pushkov himself has been included on the list of sanctioned individuals for the third year in a row.

    While Ukraine has long been seeking EU membership, the bloc does not rush to accept new states before all of it requirements are fulfilled. A significant step toward receiving membership is visa liberalization, and in April, the European Parliament took that step with Ukraine. However, since EU legislation protects the freedom of expression and information, Ukraine’s sanctions against media may have a negative effect on the prospects of its desired membership.

    The relations between Russia and Ukraine became strained and resulted in introduction of several rounds of sanctions in 2014, after Crimea became part of Russia and Moscow was accused of alleged meddling in the conflict between the eastern Ukrainian militias and Kiev. Russia has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the Ukrainian domestic conflict and is not involved in the events in the region.

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    anti-Russian sanctions, Alexei Pushkov, Ukraine, Russia
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