The chief editor of a Ukrainian English-language newspaper said today that the site will not remove a block on UK traffic until UK libel laws are reformed.

The Kyiv Post blocked UK visitors on 14 December "in protest of the draconian libel laws there that hinder legitimate free speech and threaten the work of independent journalists".

The move followed the filing of a libel suit against the newspaper's publisher Public Media in London by a Ukrainian businessman. According to a case study by the Libel Reform Campaign, the newspaper was also the subject of libel proceedings in London in 2008, ending in an out of court settlement.

At the time, the site published an editorial claiming that the decision to ban UK traffic was "both a prudent business move and a protest of the UK's weak libel protections".

Speaking to, the Post's chief editor Brian Bonner said he was encouraged by the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg's comments today in a speech outlining the details of a draft defamation bill due in Spring.

But he said that the Post was unlikely to re-allow entry to the site for UK traffic until the laws are changed.

In his speech today, Clegg said the new draft bill would address the issue of libel tourism.

"It is simply not right when academics and journalists are effectively bullied into silence by the prospect of costly legal battles with wealthy individuals and big businesses," he said.

"Nor should foreign claimants be able to exploit these laws, bringing cases against foreign defendants here to our courts - even if the connection with England is tenuous.

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