15:08 Oct. 3, 2016
Parliament discusses visa-regime with Russia and strengthening of sanctions
The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has expressed its strong protest against charges brought by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) against the Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, detained in Moscow, Ukrinform reports.
This is stated in comments posted on the Foreign Ministry's website.
"We are deeply outraged by the fact that the Ukrainian journalist, who arrived in Russia to visit close relatives, was detained by the Russian authorities on far-fetched charges of ‘espionage'. We consider this as another step in purposeful policy of the Russian Federation to use Ukrainians, who are in the hands of its authorities, as political hostages in its hybrid aggression against our country," the Foreign Ministry stated.
The Foreign Ministry noted that Roman Sushchenko is a man who defends objectivity and freedom of speech, and this only proves that officially Moscow is waging war not only against Ukraine, but against the whole democratic world for which human rights and freedom are fundamental values.
Today Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin will raise the issue of Roman Sushchenko during the Council of Europe on the Day of Ukrainian Reforms in Strasbourg.
"It is a common practice in Russia when we are not informed about the detention of our citizens. We are in contact with the journalist's family and check the information," the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine said.
Leader of People's Front faction of Rada Maksym Burbak has urged Ukraine to expand sanctions against the Russian Federation. He stated this during the Conciliation Council, Ukrinform says.
"Ukraine should set the pace in expansion of the international pressure on the aggressor state and should extend sanctions and demand that the international partners do the same," he said.
He noted that the international sanctions against Russia should not only be extended but also strengthened.
In turn, the Speaker of the House Andriy Parubiy has asked MPs to consider the issue on abolishing a bilateral agreement on a visa-free travel between Ukraine and Russia.
"On Friday, Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko was arrested in Russia. Russian imperialists are trying to accuse him of espionage. If Putin's regime previously destroyed only (Russian - UT) freedom of speech and only prosecuted own journalists, then now it's a dangerous place for foreign reporters to work too. I urge all states of the free world, all international organizations to give their own harsh evaluation of the ongoing prosecution over the journalist, the Ukrainian citizen," Parubiy said.
First Vice-Speaker Iryna Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook she was shocked about the incident and called for the immediate release of journalist Roman Sushchenko.
"We are waiting for immediate statements by the OSCE and (OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja - UT) Mijatović, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (Thorbjørn - UT) Jagland, and other structures that have to express protest against the arrest of Ukrainian journalist by the Russian Federation on far-fetched charges of ‘espionage'," Gerashchenko stressed.
Ukrainian Defense Intelligence in turn decline FSB claims of journalist being ‘spy' and ‘Intel Colonel'.
"We believe that Russia's special services see a spy in every citizen of Ukraine who is on the territory of Russian Federation," Intelligence commantary explains.
As UT reported, Putin's secret service captured another Ukrainian on Sept. 30, but kept it secret till now.