Zelensky Proposes that Putin Reinstate Minsk, Asks Ukrainians to Resist Provocations
The President was responding to a planned link up between a Ukrainian and Russian TV channel
Photo from Ukrinform-UATV
In a video appeal, published on his Facebook page on July 8, 2019, President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky made a triple appeal: to the Ukrainian people, TV journalists involved in the organization of the TV link-up with Russian propaganda channel Russia 24 and to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, calling on him to resume the negotiation process in Minsk.
“‘Need to talk?’ Let’s talk,” Zelensky started his speech by actually citing the official name of the planned TV-show ‘Need To Talk.’
The TV-show which had planned for a satellite bridge with Russia 24 channel, was scheduled for July 12, 2019. The Ukrainian television channel NewsOne, which belongs to Taras Kozak, an ally of Viktor Medvedchuk, and Russian state-owned channel Russia 24, were to hold a TV link-up entitled “Need to Talk.” TV host Dmitry Kiselyov announced this during the Vesti Nedeli [News of the Week] program.
Zelensky called the announcement “a cheap, but a dangerous, pre-election sales pitch” with the main ambition to split Ukrainian society and earning political points before the upcoming parliament election.
Shortly after the announcement, NewsOne canceled the TV link-up due to “direct threats of physical violence against the channel, its journalists, and their families.”
“I ask you [Ukrainians], to keep calm and resist provocations. We are responding in a kind way,” Zelensky said.
Shortly after, the Security Service of Ukraine had already announced a list of actions on the planned link-up including sanctions against both 112 and NewsOne channels and the start of the process of the demonopolization of the media holding which includes 112, NewsOne and Zik.
“Separately I want to appeal to Ukrainian journalists. Particularly to the journalist of these channels. Somebody bought a channel, but he didn’t buy you! You are not someone’s property, not a part of Medvedchuk’s collection, not Rabinovich’s servants. You are the fourth power. You all are people’s servants too,” Zelensky said. This part of the appeal corresponds with the fact that Viktor Medvedchuk has directly or indirectly taken four Ukrainian channels under his control, after recently taking over 80% of the TV-channel Inter.
“And now I want to address the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. Need to talk? We do need. Let’s make a topic about whom the Crimea belongs to. And those who are absent in Donbas. And I propose the next assemblage for this talk: Me, you, President of the United States of America Donald Trump, the United Kingdom Prime Minister Teresa May, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, and President of France Emmanuel Macron. Place? I think Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko would gladly agree to accept us in Minsk,” Zelensky said.
“We are not changing and not refusing any diplomatic formats. We propose to talk,” Zelensky stressed.