Foreign Ministry: Kyiv in talks with Syrian rebels on release of Ukrainian journalist

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Nov. 13, 2012, 4:44 p.m. | Ukraine | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian journalist Anhar Kochneva.


The Interfax-Ukraine News Agency – a company belonging to the Interfax Information Services international group – has been an information provider in the political and economic information market of Ukraine since 1992.

Negotiations on the release of Ukrainian journalist Anhar Kochneva in Syria are continuing, but their details are not being disclosed for the safety of the Ukrainian woman, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has reported.

"The negotiations are now ongoing, and it's inexpedient to disclose their details in the interests of the Ukrainian citizen," the director of the ministry's information policy department, Oleh Voloshyn, said at a briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday.

He said that the Syrian rebels had made "certain demands," which the ministry cannot disclose.

"They are putting forward certain conditions, and we are now trying to find an opportunity to satisfy them," Voloshyn said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman added that Kyiv sees a video address by the detained journalist as an attempt to put additional pressure on Ukraine by those who are holding her.

As reported, on October 15, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Dykusarov told Interfax-Ukraine that gunmen had kidnapped a Ukrainian woman in Syria, who went to the country as a translator for the crew of a Russian television channel.

On October 15, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych instructed the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and other concerned government agencies to take measures to release Kochneva.

On November 8, a video with the kidnapped journalist was posted on the Web site of the Free Syrian Army. In the video that lasts 15 seconds, she said in Arabic: "My name is Anhar. I am located in Homs now, and I urge the Ukrainian and the Russian Embassy, and also the Syrian government, to fulfill the kidnappers' demands."

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