Berlin 'calling for censorship' of Ukrainian website: opinion
PR dla Zagranicy
The German foreign ministry has demanded that authorities in Kiev remove content from a private Ukrainian website, according to a Polish journalist.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Photo: Eastfrisian [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Myrotvorets site is a private Ukrainian website that has since 2014 been posting a list of people who it believes threaten Ukraine’s national security, the Polish journalist, Grzegorz Górny, writes in an opinion piece.
On November 8, Gerhard Schröder, a former German chancellor “who is now a lobbyist” for Russian gas giant Gazprom, was added to the list, Górny says in his piece, published by the wpolityce.pl online news service.
He adds that Myrotvorets placed Schröder’s name on the list alongside "separatists, terrorists and Kremlin agents" because the former German leader “has publicly justified the  annexation of Crimea by Russia.”
Górny argues: “The German authorities, which are so sensitive to freedom of speech issues, and who instruct other countries about the standards of media freedom, have turned out to be supporters of gagging journalists themselves.”
He goes on: “In fact, they are encouraging the authorities of another country to attack freedom of speech” by “calling for government censorship of independent media outlets for political reasons.”
According to Górny, “everyone knows” that “Schröder is a Kremlin lobbyist.”
Schröder “differs from former Moscow agents of influence in that they took money secretly and were ashamed of that, while he collects paychecks from Gazprom openly and shamelessly,” Górny argues.
The German government’s intervention “speaks volumes of how German authorities understand freedom of speech,” Górny concludes in his piece, entitled “Freedom of Speech German Style: Censoring a Ukrainian Website.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin was quoted as saying in March that Schröder was "the most important Putin lobbyist in the world."