While NATO provides Ukraine with support tools to withstand the Russian military aggression, the expert community believes that it’s time to popularize NATO across Ukraine.
Kyiv, September 28, 2016. “The Warsaw Summit (held July 8-9, 2016 – UCMC) adopted a decision on comprehensive support of Ukraine. In particular, in terms of countering hybrid warfare – especially the information component of hybrid warfare,” said Sergiy Parkhomenko, coordinator of civil committee “Anlantychnyi Infromnastup”, director of the Center of External Policy Studies “OPAD”, advisor to the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, at a discussion held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Today Ukrainians’ awareness of cooperation with NATO is rather low. As a result – a level of support for Ukraine’s membership in NATO is 44.3 percent as of September this year, to restore neutral status – 38.1 percent. “Here in Ukraine we have only three websites providing information about NATO and the related topics,” he explained. Sergiy Parkhomenko also presented a trial issue of NATO Digest that highlights the theme of NATO assistance to Ukraine. It is desirable to create some new media resources.
“When we talk about NATO, we must understand that this is not an abstraction. This organization is very important for Ukraine in terms of the practical content of cooperation,” emphasized Vadym Triukhan, diplomat, NGO “European movement of Ukraine”, head of the Board. He said that NATO is the most consistent organization in its position on the Russian aggression against Ukraine. “The Warsaw Summit adopted an unprecedented comprehensive plan to support Ukraine,” he said and added, “No state has ever received such support tools, particularly in for reforming the defense and security sector. […] This comprehensive plan includes more than 40 points”. Ukrainian servicemen undergo training at the expense of NATO, participate in joint exercises with NATO member states, implement research projects, etc. “The idea of the accession to NATO has fewer supporters now because of the passivity of both Ukraine and NATO, there is no synergy of effort,” concluded Vadym Triukhan.
Mykhailo Kolibabchuk, secretary of the Parliamentary group for inter-parliamentary relations between Ukraine and the Republic of Latvia, president of the NGP “Ukranian-Slovak Partnership Center”, spoke about the NATO QUEST project. “We did not create anything new – we just combined social networking, blogs and created their own social network,” he noted. The network is a platform for young people to express their thoughts and ideas. It has already been operating in 20 regions of Ukraine, and it arouses interest. Over 100 days, as a result of their activities, people gain points and corresponding prizes for them. Last year’s winners visited NATO headquarters in Brussels. According to Mykhailo Kolibabchuk, three winners will have the same opportunity this year.
Victoria Samoilenko, Head of “Coordination center for ATO servicemen” at Kryvyi Rig Academic Institute, said that they work with different sectors of the population, including students, young people and ATO servicemen’s families. Andriy Shaykan, Director of Kryvyi Rig Economic Institute, informed that the center engages historians, sociologists, and volunteers. “We already identify different information weapons and various methods of their use,” said Andriy Shaykan.