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Shutting down in Ukraine is unacceptable attack on freedom of expression, - MEP

Source : 112 Ukraine

Bernhard Zimniok stressed that the European Union welcomes rapprochement with Ukraine, but only if it does not harm EU-Russia relations
12:52, 10 February 2021

Bernhard Zimniok
EP

Shutting down channels because politicians don’t agree with, is an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression. This was stated by the MEP, representative of Germany Bernhard Zimniok during the debate on the Association Agreement with Ukraine in the European Parliament as he commented on the closure of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels.

He stressed that the European Union welcomes rapprochement with Ukraine, but only if it does not harm EU-Russia relations.

"In general, we can only welcome Ukraine's rapprochement with the EU. But only if it does not harm our relations with Russia. Russia is an important partner for us, the demonization of which, despite all reasonable criticism, is not helpful. Ukraine's rapprochement with the EU since 2014 cost 10 billion euros this year, and can only happen if Ukraine demonstrates its readiness to carry out reforms, which, unfortunately, is not the case. Recently, President Zelensky blocked the broadcast of three TV channels which allegedly spread pro-Russian propaganda. Shutting down channels that showed stories that were not liked by political decision-makers is an unacceptable attack on freedom of speech," he said.

According to the MEP, Ukraine could be a "bridge" between the EU and Russia.

"Zelensky's decision is not a path of reform, but following the US doctrine. And Ukraine could be a bridge between the EU and Russia. Until the current situation changes, the EU must suspend aid and loans," Zimniok said.

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