Germany 'irritated' after Ukraine detains analyst

28th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Germany lashed out at Ukraine Monday after authorities held a German analyst at Kiev airport for 10 hours after he was critical of the president, calling on the country to adhere to EU standards.

Berlin was "irritated" that Nico Lange, director of the Kiev office of German think-tank the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, was detained on Saturday and threatened with deportation, government spokesman Christoph Steegmans said.

He was only allowed to enter the country on Sunday after German intervention on several levels, Steegmans said.

"The Ukrainian side has described the incident as a misunderstanding but the (German) government will continue to follow the situation closely.

"We hope that the proven and important work of German foundations in Ukraine will remain unhindered in future and that Ukraine adheres to European Union standards in this area," Steegmans told a regular government briefing.

Influential news website Ukrainska Pravda said that Lange had encountered problems with the Ukrainian authorities due to his criticism of President Viktor Yanukovych's administration.

The incident comes amid growing concerns over a return to media censorship under Yanukovych, which has prompted a string of complaints from private Ukrainian television channels.

The presidency has vowed to look into the complaints and insisted it puts no pressure on the press. A spokeswoman of the Ukrainian security service the SBU, Maryna Ostapenko, declined to comment on Sunday on Lange's detention.

© 2010 AFP

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