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Ukraine Must Scrap Ban on Russian Social Media - Reporters Without Borders

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the mediabankVkontakte social network service
Vkontakte social network service - Sputnik International
Reporters Without Borders in a statement on Tuesday condemned Ukraine's decision to ban Russian social networks because it undermines freedom of expression.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko approved the decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) to expand the list of sanctioned Russian individuals and legal entities. In particular, Ukraine has imposed sanctions on a number of Russian media, popular social networks like VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. According to Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Internet Association (UIA) Alexander Fedyenko, Ukraine will need $1 billion and about two years to block the websites.

"Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the ban imposed on Russian social networks by the Ukrainian authorities last week, calling it a disproportionate measure that seriously undermines the Ukrainian people’s right to information and freedom of expression," the release stated.

Russia's most popular social network is VKontakte - Sputnik International
Russian Social Networks Among Entities Sanctioned by Ukraine
RSF said that despite security concerns, there was no justification for the bans.

"Blocking social networks, messaging services and entire news organizations is neither proportionate nor justified in light of the stated aims. With this decree Petro Poroshenko has dealt a serious blow to Ukrainian citizens’ right to information and freedom of expression and has turned his back on his international obligations," the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk, Johann Bihr, said in the statement.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the same day that 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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