Yermak in Washington Post interview: Ukraine could initiate law forbidding publication of secret recordings of officials
President's Office head Andriy Yermak has said his office plans to prepare a draft bill, according to which publishing secret recordings of conversations of high officials would be a crime.
In an interview with the American publication The Washington Post via video link from Kyiv, he noted that this initiative will aim to put an end to "malicious practice," adding that it is necessary to "protect state security."
"I want to emphasize that we regard this as a direct violation of the national security of our country. It's not normal when someone records a head of state. And it's not important whether this is the illegal act of a Ukrainian citizen because of some domestic motives, or some foreign intelligence services are behind it," Yermak said, commenting on recordings between former President Petro Poroshenko and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
Authors of the article said such a move "may reassure international diplomats alarmed about Ukraine's apparent difficulty in keeping high-level conversations private" and "could protect Zelensky and his team from devastating leaks or disinformation campaigns that constantly appear."
At the same time, they said the measure may also cause discontent among journalists and anti-corruption activists if it does not allow them to show corruption records of government officials, judges, prosecutors and other persons.
Advisor to the President of Ukraine Ihor Novikov, who called the leak of scandalous recordings "national sport, which should be stopped," Ukraine should correct the damage caused to its image as a result of the leak of conversations involving Biden.
"It's a dangerous situation. I cannot think of many precedents, globally, where the conversations between an acting president and a vice president of the United States were not only recorded and leaked but also showcased in the manner they are now. And it's in nobody's interest, including the United States," Novikov said.