KYIV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed into law a ban on the commercial import of books from Russia on Thursday, the latest move to reduce cultural ties between the two countries following Moscow’s invasion.
“I believe the law is right,” Zelenskiy wrote on the Telegram messaging app, announcing he had signed a bill which also bans the commercial import of books printed in Belarus or in occupied Ukrainian territory.
The bill, adopted by parliament a year ago, also makes its a requirement to obtain special permission to import books in the Russian language from third countries.
Zelenskiy’s office said on Twitter that the law would “strengthen the protection of the Ukrainian cultural and information space from anti-Ukrainian Russian propaganda”.
Ukraine has been carrying out what it describes as “derussification” process, saying it is necessary to undo centuries of policies it considered aimed at crushing the Ukrainian identity.
Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko thanked the president for signing the bill.
“The adoption of this draft law will protect the Ukrainian book publishing and distribution sector from the destructive influence of the ‘russian world’,” he said on Telegram.
(Reporting by Anna Pruchnicka and Kyiv newsroom, Editing by Timothy Heirtage)
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