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Journalists to be allowed into Ukrainian parliament for the first time since the full-scale invasion

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Journalists to be allowed into Ukrainian parliament for the first time since the full-scale invasion

The Head of the Verkhovna Rada Secretariat, Viacheslav Shtuchnyi, announced that journalists will again be allowed access to the parliament during sessions. After Easter (5 May), a special briefing will be held with media representatives.

Source: Ukrinform

Quote from Shtuchnyi: „We are returning to the practice that was in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the sessions of the Verkhovna Rada in the building, 20-30 representatives of the media will be allowed in. Journalists have already submitted applications for accreditation. We are ready to conduct additional accreditation. After Easter, we will gather journalists for a briefing on their presence in the parliament.“

Details: Additionally, Ruslan Stefanchuk, Head of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, stressed that the legislative body operates under martial law and may, therefore, be considered a target by one of the decision-making centres. „We face risks that are confirmed monthly by relevant letters from the security services,“ he said.

In light of this, Valentyna Savitska, a representative of the State Security Department, noted that it will be necessary to properly verify those media representatives who will be allowed into the parliament building. „Previously, over 4,000 journalists were accredited to the Verkhovna Rada,“ she reminded.

„We need to form a pool of journalists who hold themselves to high reputational standards,“ Stefanchuk emphasised.

For reference: Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, journalists have been denied access to the Verkhovna Rada building. Additionally, parliamentary sessions are not broadcast live.

Background: At the end of 2023, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament’s Committee on Freedom of Speech, announced that the Verkhovna Rada’s apparatus was developing a mechanism for re-accreditation of media representatives, which would further facilitate improvement in their access to work in the parliament.

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