Kremlin: Ukraine is part of ‘Russian world’
Ukraine is part of the "Russian world," said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president, RBC news agency reports.
"It would be extremely stupid to deny cultural ties, historical ties, common roots of Ukraine and Russia," Peskov said. According to him, "Ukraine goes in the direction of denying this unity”. "And we don't like it," Peskov said.
Responding to a question how Russia plans to protect the "Russian world," Peskov said that Moscow intends to use "soft power" to do so. Peskov added that Russia never uses methods that are contrary to international law.
Peskov comments about the "Russian world" were in response to a question about a telephone conversation between Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev and the head of the pro-Russian Ukrainian party "Opposition Platform - For Life", Viktor Medvedchuk, held on February 6.
Medvedchuk and Medvedev discussed the sanctions that Kyiv imposed on three Ukrainian TV channels, accusing them of pro-Russian position and receiving financial support from Russia.
In early February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered to shut down a number of TV channels, including 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK. Zelensky said that there steps were necessary to counter Russian influence in Ukraine. These channels have stopped broadcasting, and the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture has also announced plans to send a letter to YouTube with a request to block internet broadcasting of resources.
The blocked channels belong to Ukrainian MP Taras Kozak, who is a member of the pro-Russian party “Opposition Platform for Life”. Ukrainian publication "The Observer" calls Kozak Medvedchuk’s right hand man.
Russian authorities also condemned the closing of the channels, and Peskov earlier called on international organizations to pay attention to what happened in Ukraine.
The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, on the other hand, supported Zelensky’s decision, calling the blocking of the channels "efforts to counter Russia’s malign influence".