Poroshenko removes European journalists from banned list

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree enacting the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council's (NSDC) September 17 decision to remove the names of European journalists from the country's sanctions list.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree enacting the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council's (NSDC) September 17 decision to remove the names of European journalists from the country's sanctions list.

Poroshenko's decree, which was published on the presidential website on September 18, orders "the enactment of the National Security and Defense Council's decision, dated September 17, 2015, 'On amending Appendix 1 to the September 2, 2015 decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine 'On the application of personal specialized economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)'."

The decree came into force on the day it was published.

Earlier, NSDC backed Poroshenko's proposal to remove European journalists from the blacklist.

"Bearing in mind the broad public response and the strategic importance of relations with the European Union, the Ukrainian NSDC has backed the proposal made by the president of Ukraine to lift the sanctions against European journalists," the NSDC press service reported on Sept.17.

The council explained that its September 2 decision imposes sanctions on foreign citizens "whose activities or public remarks abetted terrorist manifestations on the territory of Ukraine and misinformed the international community about events on the occupied territories, as well as those who illegally crossed the state border of Ukraine seeking to enter the occupied territory."

"For example, Spanish citizen Cesar Vidal acted as an observer at an illegal referendum and made remarks describing Ukraine as an artificial state. In particular, he claimed that "this is an artificial nation which is called Ukraine and is used as a weapon to threaten the Kremlin"," NSDC said.

Those to be removed from Ukraine's sanctions list include UK journalists Anton Chicherov, Emma Wells and Steve Rosenberg, Spain's Manuel Angel Sastre and Antonio Jose Rodriguez Pampliega, as well as German citizen Michael Rutz.

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