Kyiv, January 19, 2016. A series of informational and military provocations will increase as we approach April 6, the date of referendum in the Netherlands where the Dutch people are going to express their attitude to the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The peak of disinformation tide is expected to come in the last two weeks prior to the referendum, says Ukrainian Ambassador-at-Large Dmytro Kuleba at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Kuleba urged to be extremely vigilant and critically elaborate information appearing in the media. "We call on civil society, activists and all those interested in the problem to help us identify such fakes, produce and distribute content that will help the Dutch to understand what is going on in Ukraine better and why the Association Agreement makes Europe stronger."
According to Ukraine’s Ambassador-at-Large, the Dutch referendum was initiated by "ardent euroskeptics", pro-Russian citizens and organizations. The latter often use euroskepticism of the Dutch to achieve their goals. Dmytro Kuleba told it is important to understand that this is not a referendum against Ukraine: it is directed against the European Union and its institutions. Hence, the initiators of the referendum would actively "spin" two theses – war and corruption in Ukraine to undermine the prospects of EU-Ukraine Association.
Vadym Skibitsky, representative of the Main Department of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, noted the increase of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine. This number has doubled comparing with the last week. Mr. Skibitsky also predicted the possibility of provocative actions outside the combat zone and in other regions of Ukraine.
Dmytro Kuleba emphasized Ukraine has friends and supporters in the Netherlands. They will help to arrange a campaign in support of Ukraine's European integration. The majority of actions will be held by non-governmental organizations aimed to improve the public opinion of the country among the Dutch audience. The actions will include social media campaigns, visual content, cultural and information events as well as direct communication between people of the two countries involving famous personalities. The fact that the Netherlands currently holds the EU presidency also counts in Ukraine’s favor. Kuleba remarked it is not a desirable outcome for them to ruin the process of association.
Kuleba also reminded about non-binding character of the Dutch referendum. However, it is the first referendum on such issue there, which means the national politicians cannot ignore its outcome. Likewise, the Dutch authorities will not disregard the requirements of their electorate and jeopardize their reputation.
Elections to one to the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Netherlands are scheduled for March 17, 2017.