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As to incident with Ukrainian Radio journalist Pavlo Sharoiko in Belarus

21.11.2017 р., 13:10

The National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (PBC) is not cooperating with special services, PBC Chairman Zurab Alasania has said in connection with the detention of Pavlo Sharoiko, a Ukrainian Radio correspondent in Belarus.

"Since its creation in 2017, PBC has declared principles based on world practices of journalistic standards, freedom of speech and democratic values, and it will adhere to them under any circumstances. Therefore, PBC states that it does maintain with special services any relations that go beyond the limits of official relations, and it does not cooperate with any of them. The task and mission of the public broadcaster are different. It will be so in the future," Alasania said in a statement published on the official website of the UA: First television channel on November 21.

At the same time, according to him, the latest events that were covered by Sharoiko before his detention were Russian-Belarusian Zapad 2017 wargames held in September this year.

"The foreign part of the information service of the Ukrainian Radio does not require daily communication with each of the correspondents of the foreign network - tasks are set when it's necessary and in the event of a serious information occasion. Such recent occasions in Minsk were the case of disappeared Ukrainian citizen Pavlo Hryb, the negotiation process of the Minsk group, as well as Zapad 20177 military exercises (these are the events that Pavlo Sharoiko last covered for UR-1)," Alasania said.

That is why, according to Alasania, the absence of communication with the correspondent did not come out immediately, and when such a problem appeared, Sharoiko's wife asked for a vacation to be given to her husband due to "family circumstances." Later it turned out that the lawyer provided to the detainee by the Belarusian state bodies warned her about "non-disclosure agreement."

"All further activities by PBC were related to providing help to Pavlo Sharoiko's wife, Olena, whose husband was put behind the bars, who became homeless, with an eight-year-old child and without financial support. Regarding the actions with respect to Sharoiko himself, there is a limit beyond which the PBC's possibilities for protecting the correspondent end and the competence of the state for the protection of a citizen of Ukraine begins," he said.

According to Alasania, Sharoiko has been working in the Ukrainian correspondent network of the Ukrainian Radio since 2015 and since that time "he has faithfully worked as a reporter, covering a wide variety of topics for the information service of the Ukrainian Radio."

 As to incident with Ukrainian Radio journalist Pavlo Sharoiko in Belarus