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KYIV POST JOURNALISTS CALL OFF UKRAINE STRIKE AFTER COMPROMISE
Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, Apr 21, 2011
KIEV - Journalists on Ukraine's leading English-language weekly newspaper have called off a strike after reaching a compromise with its British owner over what they said was the politically driven dismissal of the editor.
Brian Bonner, chief editor of the Kyiv Post, was fired on April 15 after publication of an interview with Ukrainian Agricultural Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk which touched on the sensitive issue of grain export quotas.
Journalists at the weekly said British owner Mohammad Zahoor had ceded to pressure from the government in what they saw as a further case of infringement of media rights by President Viktor Yanukovich's leadership.
In a joint statement on Thursday, the owner and journalists said they had reached a tentative agreement under which Bonner would return to the newspaper on a four-person editorial board together with three other journalist staff.
"This temporary solution allows us to continue working as normal while we continue clarifying the details of a long-term solution and contracts," the statement said. It said that Zahoor had agreed on a written pledge to uphold non-interference in editorial policy by himself and his company. "The newspaper will come out tomorrow and the website will be updated," a member of the editorial board said.
The Kyiv Post, which was founded in 1995 and has a print run of 20-25,000, covers political and social news as well as business news for Ukraine's investment community. It has online services in Russian and Ukrainian that were launched a year ago. Zahoor has run it through Istil Investment since 2009. (Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Louise Ireland)
NOTE: The ISTIL GROUP/KYIV POST is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Washington, D.C., www.usubc.org.