Poroshenko Avoided the Questions of “Objectionable” Journalists During His Two-Hour Press Conference

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

18:17:40
28/02/2018

strana.ua 1/2

The journalist of the online publication Strana wasn’t allowed to approach the President Petro Poroshenko after his press conference and ask a question.

The special correspondent of “Strana” Valeriya Ivashkina, since she wasn’t given the floor during the press conference, tried to ask a question to the President after the end of the event.

In the video it is seen how several of the President’s bald-headed security guards block the path of our correspondent to Petro Poroshenko, who hastily leaves the hall.

For the record, we wanted to ask a question to Poroshenko about the unprecedented freedom of speech” that Ukrainian journalists personally feel, including “Strana”.

Our question sounded as follows: “In 2017, 90 cases of physical aggression against journalists were documented. And practically all of them went unpunished. The murderer of Sheremet hasn’t been found. Radicals blockade NewsOne, and ‘unknown persons in uniforms’ smash up and seize the editorial office of ‘Vesti‘. The editor-in-chief of our publication, after detention and 5 fabricated cases, was forced to seek political asylum in the European Union. Deputies directly threaten journalists with Oles Buzina’s fate, and investigations into the authorities are equated by your colleagues to treason. In this regard we have only one question: this means that everything is already here good concerning freedom of speech, or will it get even better?”

The correspondent of “Strana” isn’t the only one who wasn’t allowed to ask questions to the President during the press conference – other “objectionable” representatives of the media weren’t allowed either.

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As Natalya Vlashchenko wrote on Facebook, the journalist of ZIK also wasn’t allowed to speak in the hall. In addition, not all members of the media were accredited for the event.

During the press conference President Poroshenko recognised the lack of improvement in the lives for citizens.

“Most Ukrainians, unfortunately, haven’t yet felt the positive effect from many other reforms, because the lives of Ukrainians haven’t considerably improved. The standard of living, which is especially devastated by the war and economic aggression, is only now beginning to be restored, but the pace is too slow, it doesn’t satisfy me in general,” said the President.

“Anyway, the feeling that we haven’t done everything that we could doesn’t leave. Yes, we resumed economic growth, +2% GDP growth is, of course, better than -15%, but it is obvious that the achieved rate is categorically unacceptable and insufficient to provide a symbolic, but notable growth of salaries and pensions,” said Poroshenko.

Poverty and the unsatisfactory quality of life for an overwhelming number of Ukrainians, according to him, remain the main challenges for the Ukrainian authorities.

He added that changes exist in the country and that they were evaluated and recognised by the world community, which the introduction of the visa-free regime with the European Union testifies to.

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