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John KERRY - The aspirations of citizens from Central and Eastern Europe are trampled over by corrupt, oligarchic interests

John Kerry's recent remarks at Munich Security Conference: "We see a disturbing trend in too many parts of Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

The aspirations of citizens are once again being trampled beneath corrupt, oligarchic interests, interests that use money to stifle political opposition and dissent, to buy politicians and media outlets, and to weaken judicial independence and the rights of nongovernmental organizations.

Nowhere is the fight for a democratic European future more important today than in Ukraine. While there are unsavory elements in the streets in any chaotic situation, the vast majority of Ukrainians want to live freely in a safe and a prosperous country, and they are fighting for the right to associate with partners who will help them realize their aspirations. And they have decided that that means their futures do not have to lie with one country alone, and certainly not coerced. The United States and EU stand with the people of Ukraine in that fight. Russia and other countries should not view the European integration of their neighbors as a zero-sum game. In fact, the lessons of the last half century are that we can accomplish much more when the United States, Russia, and Europe work together. But make no mistake, we will continue to speak out when our values and our interests are undercut by any country in the region."

NATIONAL PROJECTS

WATCHDOG

07-07-2017

The Romanian Fiscal Agency's Raid on RISE Project – An Attempt to Intimidate the Press

The Romanian Fiscal Agency's Raid on RISE Project – An Attempt to Intimidate the Press

We are deeply concerned about the Romanian Agency for Fiscal Administration's (ANAF) raid on the reputed investigative journalism platform RISE Project, which we feel was an attempt to intimidate and silence the press. The context in which this “random” ANAF inspection took place (on Thursday, July 6th, exactly on the day when the journalists were announcing the publication of a new episode from their investigative report series regarding the PSD leader and the second day after Liviu Dragnea had publicly cast doubt upon the sources of RISE Project’s financing), as well as the unconvincing explanations of the ANAF leadership indicate that we are dealing with a show of force meant to pressure journalists and the free press through a state-run body. Such practices are often met in the former Soviet space controlled by Vladimir Putin and in Recep Tayyp Erdogan’s Turkey and they are incompatible with the values of a member state of the European Union and of NATO.

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