The UK government has said it will not tolerate Ukrainian membership of the European Union or NATO "until journalists receive satisfactory protection in Ukraine". The warning to Ukraine was made by Denis MacShane, UK minister for Europe, responding to a letter about the killing of Gyorgy Gongadze organised by the NUJ and signed by prominent journalists.
The case "remains a high priority for UK policy",
MacShane said. In April, he raised it personally with Ukrainian foreign affairs
minister Chaliy, while the UK Lord Chancellor, Derry Irvine, discussed the Gongadze
and Aleksandrov cases with Ukrainian parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn.
"We also continue to work through multilateral fora, especially the Council
of Europe, for solutions to these cases and to other problems related to
media freedom in Ukraine," MacShane added.
"Ukraine hopes to integrate eventually into both NATO and the EU. While we
support Ukraine in these ambitions, we have made it very clear that until
journalists receive satisfactory protection in Ukraine, membership of these
bodies remains out of the question."
The joint letter to which MacShane was responding was signed by BBC foreign
affairs editor John Simpson, Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman, Sunday
Telegraph editor Dominic Lawson, Observer editor Roger Alton and eight MPs.
The letter was initiated by Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the National
Union of Journalists, which has spearheaded a campaign in the UK for an
independent international inquiry into the Gongadze case. The text is at