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Merkel Presses Visiting Ukraine President On Press Freedom

German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych during an official welcoming ceremony in Berlin on August 30
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she pressed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on the issue of press freedom during a visit to Berlin today.

Merkel said she "made clear that with regard to certain democratic areas, in particular in the area of press freedom and the freedom of opinion, we had certain questions."

The talks between the Ukrainian and German leaders, including German President Christian Wulff, were also expected to focus on issues such as energy supplies and cooperation on security and the economy.

Media rights watchdog Reporters without Borders on August 27 sent a letter to Merkel requesting she address "growing obstacles to freedom of the press" in Ukraine during Yanukovych's visit, which began today.

Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported that the summit also was expected to include the signing of an agreement on cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries.

compiled from agency reports