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Stefanchuk: No one tells me which TV programs to attend

KYIV. Oct 21 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk has said that no one told him which TV channels to attend.

"No one has ever requested which TV programs to attend and which not to go to," Stefanchuk said at a briefing on Thursday, commenting on statements by a number of TV channels about pressure on them by the Office of the President and the Servant of the People party when choosing program participants.

He also stressed that he rarely takes part in television broadcasts. "I do not appear on air very often, because I believe that the routine work of a deputy should be daily, and going on air is such an additional burden for those who love this vanity fair more," Stefanchuk noted.

According to the head of parliament, one should go on air when you have something to say about the results of your work.

As reported, on October 20, journalist, host of the Zvorotny Vidlik (Countdown) talk show on the UA: Pershy public television channel Myroslava Barchuk, accused the President’s Office of exerting political pressure on the journalists of the show’s editorial board.

According to her statement on the Facebook page, this pressure is carried out in the form of control by the President’s Office over the presence of MPs from the Servant of the People on the air of the program, as well as in putting forward ultimatums regarding their participation.

In turn, Adviser to the President’s Office head Mykhailo Podoliak reacted to the accusations and said the President’s Office does not have any prohibitions for government officials, including MPs from the Servant of the People faction, to visit television channels.

Later, Head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine Serhiy Tomilenko said that journalists have the right to independently choose the formats and topics of discussion, as well as invite guests to the broadcasts, however, the determining factor is compliance with professional standards and the interests of the audience.

In turn, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on the same day called Barchuk’s accusations of controlling the presence of MPs from the Servant of the People faction on the air by the President’s Office a "hype".