NATO believes that blocking Russian internet resources in Ukraine is a matter of security, not freedom of speech.
This was told by the press service of the Alliance, commenting on Kiev’s decision to block social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, as well as services of Mail.ru and Yandex.
“The Ukrainian government has made clear that this decree is an issue of security, not one of freedom of speech. NATO works with Ukraine to strengthen its reforms, including in the fields of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Freedom of speech is covered by this dialogue. We have trust in Ukraine’s commitment to its international obligations and the system of checks and balances in place in Ukraine,” the press service of NATO said.
On May 16th President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a decree enacting the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on sanctions against social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, as well as companies Mail.ru and Yandex and all their services. According to the press service of the head of Ukraine, providers are not allowed to provide access to these resources.
The audience of the said services is quite large in Ukraine: Yandex estimates the number of users at 11 million, about 25 million people use the platform of Mail.ru, 16 million people use VKontakte (VK) social network, and about 9.5 million use Odnoklassniki.