Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland expressed his concern on Wednesday over Ukraine’s decision to block several major Russian social networks and websites, stressing that it hindered the freedom of expression and freedom of the media.
On Tuesday, the Ukrainian president approved the decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) to expand the list of sanctioned Russian individuals and legal entities. The expanded list includes 1,228 individuals and 468 legal entities.
In particular, Ukraine imposed sanctions on a number of Russian media. The country also banned access to social networks VKontakte, Odnoklassniki and Yandex and Mail.ru services.
“Blocking of social networks, search engines, mail services and news web sites goes against our common understanding of freedom of expression and freedom of the media. Moreover, such blanket bans are out of line with the principle of proportionality,” Jagland said as quoted in a press release.
The sanctions were also imposed against such Russian TV channels as Zvezda, TVC, NTV Plus, RenTV, RBC.
Commenting on the decision of the Ukrainian authorities, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow regarded it as another manifestation of an unfriendly and short-sighted policy against Russia.