Ukraine bars dozens of journalists - including BBC trio - who pose 'threat to national interests'

Ukraine has barred dozens of reporters, including three BBC journalists, from entering the country as an unspecified security threat.

President Petro Poroshenko (pictured, Reuters) signed a sanctions list barring nearly 300 individuals from entering Ukraine.

The decree, published on the president's website, said the three BBC journalists – two Britons and a Russian – and other reporters and media executives presented an unspecified "threat to national interests, national security, sovereignty or territorial integrity".

It did not specify why the BBC was singled out but a spokesman for the president said the Ukrainian Security Service would give an explanation later.

Ukraine has barred entry to Russian journalists in the past, accusing them of inciting unrest in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.

BBC foreign editor Andrew Roy said: "This is a shameful attack on media freedom.

"These sanctions are completely inappropriate and inexplicable measures to take against BBC journalists who are reporting the situation in Ukraine impartially and objectively and we call on the Ukrainian government to remove their names from this list immediately."

The Guardian has named the BBC journalists as Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg and Moscow bureau producer Emma Wells.

State-funded Russia Today said that some of its reporters were also on the list, along with representatives from El Pais and Die Zeit.

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