MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti)
Ukrainian lawmakers on Tuesday shelved a bill criminalizing defamation.
The decision comes after days of protests in Ukraine by journalists and media activists. The draft law, sponsored by the ruling Party of the Regions, was approved in a first reading last month.
It calls for tighter punishment for defamation, including prison terms of up to five years. The opposition and independent media have slammed it as a crackdown on freedom of speech.
The bill has also been criticized by international media watchdogs.
The Party of Regions said consideration of the bill has been postponed in view of the public outcry.
The opposition does not rule out that the bill will be revisited after parliamentary elections due on October 28.
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Ukraine has not preserved its 1991 borders. The signing of the Geneva memorandum on April 17 reaffirmed the willingness of Russia, the United States and EU countries to reach a compromise. While the sides continue to trade tough talk and symbolic sanctions, the Kremlin and the White House are also holding a parallel dialogue on the coordinated geopolitical revision of Eastern Europe.