Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has said he is concerned over recent events involving the Ukrainian media and ordered Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka and Head of the State Tax Service Oleksandr Klymenko to check whether the opening of criminal cases against the LB.ua online newspaper and the TVi television channel was legal.
"In a democratic state it is fundamentally important to protect the freedom of speech and prevent pressure on the media," the presidential press service quoted him as saying on Thursday.
Yanukovych noted that checks on the media before the elections have a negative impact on the political situation in the country.
"The pluralism of opinions in the press is a guarantee of democratic will at future elections. The government must do everything to protect the media and the rights of voters," he said.