BBG Watch Commentary
The Voice of America (VOA) is still not reporting in English and in most other languages on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement today in Davos, Switzerland, that U.S. diplomats in Kyiv are talking with Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovych on resolving the conflict between the government and pro-EU demonstrators. The news about Secretary Kerry’s todays comments on Ukraine was reported by RT (Russia Today) a few hours ago. Secretary Kerry also said in his foreign policy speech in Davos: “We will stand with the people of Ukraine.”
In an unusual departure from either completely ignoring White House and State Department statements on Ukraine or reporting on them late in no more than one of two sentences in other news, the VOA English news website had a separate report Thursday on White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s comments on Ukraine during his daily press briefing. VOA – White House Warns Ukraine Against Further Bloodshed, January 23, 2014.
Today (Friday), however, VOA English news website is still not reporting on the latest statement on Ukraine by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who spoke many hours ago at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
VOA Ukrainian Service again is the exception among more than 40 VOA language services, including English. VOA Ukrainian Service has reported on Kerry’s remarks about Ukraine using material provided by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
VOA Russian Service and other VOA language services are still not reporting Kerry’s comments about U.S. diplomatic engagement in Ukraine to put an end to violence.
Kerry’s statement on Ukraine has now been posted for some hours on the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv website. U.S. diplomatic engagement with Ukraine officials was also mentioned at today’s press briefing at the State Department in Washington.
Secretary Kerry told the audience in Davos today: “I literally just received messages before walking in here of the efforts of our diplomats on the ground working with President Yanukovych to try to achieve calm and help move in this direction in the next days. We will stand with the people of Ukraine.”
This is what RT (Russia Today) has reported on its English news website already some hours ago:
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry once again confirmed Washington’s support for Ukrainian protesters during his speech at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Kerry said the US is working with its allies and top Ukrainian officials to end the violence.
“We are working with our partners to press the government of Ukraine to forego violence, to address the concerns of peaceful protesters, to foster dialogue, promote the freedom of assembly and expression,” he said.
Kerry added that he received a text message shortly before beginning his speech from US diplomats in Kiev, who are negotiating with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych “to try to achieve calm and help move in this direction in the next days.” RT (Russia Today) – Back to chaos: Rioters burn tires, throw Molotovs, attack police in Kiev, January 24, 2014
Even yesterday’s VOA report on the White House press secretary’s comment was rather brief on the White House part of it and did not include any video or references to previous Obama administration statements on Ukraine. China’s CCTV posted on its website a video of the White House press secretary speaking about Ukraine.
Previous recent remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry on Ukraine were also all but ignored on the VOA English website.
Voice of America has ceased to be a reliable and timely news source for important U.S. news in response to even most major international developments. VOA journalists blame it on inadequate resources and mismanagement by VOA executive staff.
It is indeed a sad commentary on the state of Voice of America news when RT (Russia Today) pays more attention to what U.S. Secretary of State says about Ukraine than VOA’s top leaders.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
January 24, 2014
Secretary of State John Kerry
At the World Economic Forum
January 24, 2014
SECRETARY KERRY: Far from disengaging, America is proud to be more engaged than ever, and, I believe, is playing as critical a role, perhaps as critical as ever, in pursuit of peace, prosperity, and stability in various parts of the world.
Right here in Europe, we are working with our partners to press the Government of Ukraine to forgo violence, to address the concerns of peaceful protesters, to foster dialogue, promote the freedom of assembly and expression. And I literally just received messages before walking in here of the efforts of our diplomats on the ground working with President Yanukovych to try to achieve calm and help move in this direction in the next days. We will stand with the people of Ukraine.
We’re also making progress towards finalizing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which would link the world’s largest market, the EU, with the world’s single largest economy, the United States, raising standards and creating jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.[…]
U.S. State Department
Daily Press Briefing
January 24, 2014
QUESTION: Yeah. Can we move to Ukraine?
MS. HARF: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: So the situation on the ground is not getting better. The talks between the opposition and the president have failed. Apparently, the regime has lost control of parts of west of the country. So do you see any way to get out of the crisis? And on the diplomatic front, France and Germany have summoned the Ukrainian ambassadors. Is there any plan from the U.S. side to do the same or to send a U.S. official to Kyiv?
MS. HARF: Well, we have said all along that a peaceful resolution of the crisis is key to satisfying the aspirations of the Ukrainian people. We were encouraged by reports that President Yanukovych is meeting with the three main opposition leaders. We do fully support substantive discussions and we have said that we urge the Government of Ukraine to seize the opportunity that these talks represent and to move quickly to take the first steps towards national reconciliation. This is obviously a tough situation, but the government does have a chance to do – to take positive steps, I would say, and to continue in these discussions.
Obviously, we’re monitoring it. I don’t have anything new to update you in terms of U.S. official engagement. We have been quite engaged at the local level with Ukrainian officials, and I can check and see in terms of if we have anyone from here who’s been particularly engaged.
In terms of – you asked about some of the government buildings in the western part. We can confirm that protestors have occupied some regional administration buildings, and of course, would reiterate our call for all protestors and government forces to refrain from violence and the destruction of property on both sides.