Kyiv, January 19, 2016. The number of provocations in both military and information spheres will increase as we approach April 6, the date of referendum in the Netherlands, when citizens of this country will express their attitude to the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Their peak is expected in the last two weeks before the referendum, according to Dmytro Kuleba, Ambassador at Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. He called on everyone to be extremely vigilant about the information that appears in the media and to evaluate it most critically. “We call on civil society, activists, and all those interested in the problem to help us identify such fakes and do away with them. And also to produce and distribute pro-Ukrainian content that will help the Dutch better understand what Ukraine is, what we want and why the Association Agreement makes Europe stronger,” said Mr. Kuleba.
According to him, the referendum in the Netherlands was initiated by “ardent euroskeptics” and pro-Russian citizens and organizations. The latter often use euroscepticism of the Dutch “blindly” to achieve their goals. According to Kuleba, it is important to understand that this is not a referendum against Ukraine: it is directed against the European Union and its institutions. With this in mind, the initiators of the referendum would actively “spin” two theses – war and corruption in Ukraine, with which the EU has signed the Association Agreement.
According to Vadim Skibitsky, representative of the Main Department of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, at the front provocations are traditionally in the form of increased number of attacks. This number has doubled as compared to the last week. Mr. Skibitsky also predicts the possibility of provocative actions outside the ATO zone – on the territory adjacent to the boundary line and in other regions of Ukraine.
Dmytro Kuleba emphasized that Ukraine has also 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. Actions will include separate campaigns in social networks, 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 hold the EU presidency also counts in favor of Ukraine. It is not a desirable outcome for them to ruin the process of association.
Ambassador at Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the referendum is not binding. However, it is the first such referendum in the Netherlands. That is why the Dutch politicians simply cannot ignore its outcome. Likewise, the authorities of the Netherlands will not disregard the requirements of their electorate not to risk their reputation.
It should be recalled that next year the elections to one of the chambers of the national parliament will be held in the Netherlands.