Wednesday's headlines: Mass exit at Forbes over censorship, appeal to the president to halt the EU deal, more gas from Poland

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Nov. 13, 2013, 10:02 a.m. | Ukraine — by Kyiv Post

© Anastasia Vlasova

Thirteen journalists and an art director of the Ukrainian Forbes quit their jobs on Nov. 12 as a result of censorship attempts. Forbes Ukraine is a part of UMH, a media holdings with a portfolio of 5 brands, was recently bought in June by Serhiy Kurchenko, a young multi-millionaire.

The $400-million deal was supposed to be closed by next spring, but was in fact closed early this month.

The journalists who quit the Ukrainian franchise complained about a series of events that made it obvious there is a shift in the editorial policy, former chief editor of Oleksandr Ruban told Ukrainska Pravda. He said most lately chief editor Mikhail Kotov banned journalists from writing about advisers to First Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov, who is believed to be close to Kurchenko, without explanation. Both are members of the so-called “family” group of influential young businessmen and officials close to the president.

In the meantime, Kurchenko's energy holding VETEK announced on Nov. 12 that it bought an oil transshipment complex in Kherson. The deal, which was estimated by to have cost $10 to 20 million, gives Kurchenko an oil terminal with two berths can accommodate vessels with a carrying capacity up to 10 tons.

Several members of the Party of Regions and representatives of business appealed to President Viktor Yanukovych to postpone the singing of an association agreement with the European Union this month, writes Kommersant daily.

In the appeal submitted by the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and Federation of Trade Unions, their leaders and representatives of business said that Ukraine's business needs at least another year before signing to adapt to European standards.

“Ukraine expects hurdles in connection with the possible introduction of the free trade zone with the European Union because according to many parameters our economy cannot yet compete with the European,” their appeal said.

Ukraine has tripled the volume of gas it ships from Poland in the past week as it stopped buying from Gazprom at the same time, writes The shipments go through Germanovichi border point, which is capable of pumping 4.8 million cubic meters of gas per day. Ukraine announced earlier that it stopped buying gas from Russia's Gazprom on Nov.8.

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