Ukraine's Security Service stated that Christian Wehrschütz, head of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ORF) had been barred from entering Ukraine for the sake of his own safety, the press service of the SBU said.
“The reason behind this decision was to ensure the safety of the journalist. We would like to remind that Christian Wehrschütz had said in one of the interviews that he feared for his life in Ukraine. To avoid possible provocations during the stay of the Austrian journalist in our country, Ukraine’s Security Service decided to ban him entry in accordance with the country’s legislation,” the statement reads.
Olha Chervakova, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information Policy, wrote on Facebook that the head of the Ukrainian bureau of the Austria ORF TV channel had been banned from entering Ukraine because he is known to use Russian propaganda fakes in his work. According to Ukrainian law enforcement officials, Wehrschütz has visited the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are not controlled by Ukraine. He entered these territories through uncontrolled checkpoints from the territory of the Russian Federation and violated the procedures of crossing the Ukrainian border.
In his materials, Wehrschütz denies Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and does not consider himself an offender of Ukrainian laws.
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir and Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl had earlier called on Kyiv to allow Christian Wehrschütz to enter Ukraine.