The Ukrainian authorities should stop violating the rights of Russian reporters, the Moscow Journalist Union’s secretarial said in a statement published on the organization’s website on Thursday.
"The Moscow Journalist Union’s secretariat, together with Moscow journalists, expresses utmost indignation over the actions taken by the Ukrainian Securtiy Service (SBU) officers, who deported Russia’s Channel One reporter Anna Kurbatova," the statement reads. "On behalf on numerous Moscow journalists, we call on the Ukrainian authorities to stop unlawful actions against Russian reporters," the secretariat added.
The Moscow Journalist Union’s secretarial pointed out that on July 26, the SBU had deported Russia’s VGTRK media group reporter Maria Knyazeva and denied her re-entry into the country citing her allegedly biased coverage of the situation in Ukraine, while on August 15, Rossiya 24 TV channel reporter Tamara Nersesyan had also been expelled from the country.
"The Ukrainian government, which seeks to join the European Union by hook or by crook and claims to share the EU values, actually violates all the possible principles of a democratic society," the statement adds. "At the same time, the OSCE Committee on Freedom of the Media has been unable to adopt a firm position concerning such steps," the Moscow Journalist Union’s secretarial added.
On Wednesday night, Kurbatova was deported from Ukraine with a three-year entry ban.
Russian TV broadcasters reported earlier that Kurbatova had been abducted in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. Later, news came that she had actually been detained by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) which claimed that her reports were "infringing on the national interests" of Ukraine.