Media Union concerned that only selected media cover Ukraine-Russia negotiations
The Kyiv Independent Trade Union considers the situation abnormal where only selected media outlets were invited to the meeting between the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Visits at such level should be of as transparent a nature as is feasible and receive maximum coverage in the media.
Ukraine has already seen the precedent of non-transparent holding of negotiations. For example, Ukrainian journalists were not admitted to the press conference of the leaders of Russia and Ukraine regarding the Kharkiv Accords extending the Black Sea Fleet’s lease in Sevastopol in exchange for a reduction on the price of gas. The discussion of this agreement was not open and was signed without warning. It was accompanied by scandals and even a brawl in parliament which in no way contributed to an improvement in the public atmosphere. Nor have the public seen any reduction in the price of gas. This is what comes of non-transparency of government decisions.
The Kyiv Independent Trade Union calls on Ukraine’s leaders to not be afraid of inconvenient questions from journalists and to reject the practice of dividing journalists into “our people” and “not our lot”.
According to Yury Lukanov, Head of the KITU, lack of transparency of negotiations at the highest State level undermines public trust in them and is insulting to the public. It will, he believes, inevitably lead to new conflict. “The President and Prime Minister should therefore cancel the present approach where they are simply afraid of answering journalists’ questions”,