Brussels, Belgium. To say the European Union was upset with their errant child wannabe member Ukraine when they imposed internet freedom restrictions upon their citizens, would be putting it mildly.
Representatives of the European Union said that the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to block Russian social networks and Internet resources is certainly within the prerogative of the Ukrainian authorities, but the arguments for national information security are in no way something the European Union approves of or will tolerate.
We know about the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to block a number of Russian online services, including popular social media platforms in Ukraine, within the limits of restrictive measures taken by Ukraine, Head of Press and Communication at the EU Delegation in Ukraine Jurgis Vilcinskas said.
He said that the European Union heard the public statements of the Ukrainian authorities that the decision was made on the basis of the interests of national information security, and in recent months, Ukraine has become the object of numerous cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns according to Kiev, but the EU does not agree with their actions in internet censorship.
We recognize that the protection of national security is the prerogative of the Ukrainian government, the EU representative said. At the same time, Vilcinskas said that these arguments are not a valid reason to infringe upon the freedom of Ukraine’s citizens in internet access. Nevertheless, we expect that the authorities must ensure that restrictive measures taken for reasons of national security do not have a negative impact on the fundamental right to freedom of expression or we will take actions to change the situation, the diplomat said.
According to him, the EU is still waiting for detailed explanations from the Ukrainian authorities, including on the temporary nature of sanctions that they expect Ukraine to explain the exact length of the measures.