Ukraine to seek apologies from BBC for video about racism in Ukraine

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July 3, 2012, 2:55 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to seek apologies from BBC for video about threat of racism in Ukraine.
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The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is planning to seek apologies from the UK broadcaster the BBC for reporting there was a threat of racism in Ukraine.

"I don't know when to expect apologies from the BBC's journalists, but we will seek that," the director of the ministry’s information policy department, Oleh Voloshyn, said at a briefing on Tuesday.

He said that the issue concerned the Foreign Ministry's initiative to invite BBC journalists to an open debate to discuss these issues.

Voloshyn said that Ukraine and Poland had successfully co-hosted Euro 2012, as evidenced by the visits of top-ranking officials, as well as a record number of sold tickets for Euro 2012 matches.

He said that that ordinary Europeans who visited Ukraine during the European football championship had positive emotions about the country and the hospitality of Ukrainians themselves.

In May 2012, a film was shown on the BBC program Panorama pointing to problems of racism and football hooliganism at the stadiums in Ukraine and Poland. Former England international Sol Campbell advised English fans to avoid traveling to the two Eastern European countries.

The English Football Association (FA) is preparing a formal written complaint against the BBC, claiming the broadcaster launched a campaign ahead of Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland aimed at discrediting the tournament's co-hosts.

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