Failure to broadcast national roundtable angers Kravchuk

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Dec. 14, 2013, 5:25 p.m. | Ukraine | Politics — by Ukrainska Pravda

From left, Ukraine's three former and current presidents: Leonid Kravchuk, Viktor Yanukovych, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko. Prime Minister Mykola Azarov is next to Yushchenko.
© Pavel Podufalov

Ukrainska Pravda

Leonid Kravchuk, Ukraine’s first post-independence president, angrily told the government to find out who pulled the plug on broadcast of a roundtable held on Dec. 13.

Kravchuk participated in the live “Let’s Unite Ukraine” roundtable along with the country’s other former presidents, current President Viktor Yanukovych, and representatives of the opposition. No broadcasters carried the roundtable live, however Hromadske TV began streaming the discussion on the Internet until the cellular network and Internet were jammed.

"I organized the roundtable. It is outrageous that they turned it off. It is outrageous when the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing," the ex-president said. “Tell us who was responsible; tell us their names.  They should not be civil servants on Monday.”

Kravchuk’s comments came during the Shuster Live television talk show on Friday night.

“I have asked to be given clear information of who gave the order to block the broadcast. If I do not get this information, I will say so during the next roundtable discussion.  The roundtable is a democratic structure, open and democratic," he noted. He said that though the roundtable had proceeded “very responsibly and intelligently”, someone decided to close it down, hindering media coverage.

He called on Yuriy Myroshnychenko, the president's representative in parliament and Justice Minister Olena Lukash to find out who was responsible.

Lukash said that she didn’t know who gave the order to pull the program off the air.  Myroshnycheko agreed with Kravchuk that the roundtable’s participants had nothing to hide.

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