Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
United States Department of State
Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 4, 2004
SHUTDOWN OF RADIO KONTYNENT
The United States views with grave concern recent attempts by Ukrainian
authorities to limit public access to independent news and information.
The shutdown of Radio Kontynent and silencing of Radio Liberty/Radio
Free Europe (RL/RFE), VOA, and other international broadcasters is an
assault on democracy and is a serious concern in an election year in Ukraine
when the need for news from many sources is greatest.
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The shutdown of Radio Kontynent, which had agreed to broadcast RL/RFE,
comes several weeks after Radio Dovira terminated its rebroadcast of RL/RFE.
We call on the Ukrainian leadership to act immediately to allow Radio
Kontynent to resume broadcasting and to refrain from erecting further
obstacles to the rebroadcast of international radio broadcasts in Ukraine.
Ukrainian authorities must cease their ongoing campaign against independent
media, which directly contradicts Ukraine's stated desire to democratize and
move closer to the Euro-Atlantic community.