Wednesday

24th Apr 2019

Letter

Ambassador: Ukraine wronged by EUobserver op-ed

  • EUobserver has the reputation of an unbiased independent media but a recent op-ed did not meet this criteria, Ukraine ambassador writes (Photo: thisisbossi)

EUobserver has the reputation of an unbiased independent media with its articles being trusted and respected for the high standards of accuracy and impartiality.

However, I am afraid that the op-ed by Mr Sukhov does not meet this criteria.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Mr Sukhov has a right to express his own opinion on the electoral process in Ukraine but he should not obviously mislead the readers of EUobserver regarding the outcome of this process.

Ukraine has invited international observers from every respected and experienced international organisation, including the OSCE/ODIHR, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Pace, European Parliament, Nato Parliamentary Assembly, etc, to monitor the electoral process in our country.

They deploy observer delegations, make conclusions on the electoral process, and assess the election for its compliance with OSCE commitments and other international obligations and standards for democratic elections, as well as with national legislation.

Ukraine considers international election observation as an important element of transparent electoral process in accordance with international principles for genuine democratic elections and democratic development, including respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Therefore, Ukraine has invited more than 1,000 international observers – unprecedented number which clearly demonstrated the eagerness of my country to provide as transparent and fair observation process as possible. 139 Ukrainian non-governmental organisations are also registered as observers.

All those figures testify to the perception that upcoming elections will be one of the most transparent and fair in the newest Ukrainian history.

The OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission started its work in Ukraine on 6 February 2019. Its observers are closely monitoring campaign activities, work of the election administration and relevant governmental bodies, media environment, election-related legislation and its implementation.

I would like to draw your particular attention that there were no statements from Ukraine's international partners or international organisations claiming that the electoral campaign may undermine the reliability of the election results.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko repeatedly confirmed Ukraine's commitment to ensure free and transparent democratic elections.

According to the recent comment of Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli, the EU has no reason to consider Ukrainian elections not competitive, as in Ukraine, like in any other democratic state, no one knows who will win.

I was also personally indignant to read the author's assumptions that Ukraine may turn "into a Venezuela-style banana republic".

In winter 2013-2014, during the Revolution of Dignity, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian people protected the democratic development of our country, over 100 people paid the highest price and sacrificed their lives.

As of today, Ukraine keeps courageously fighting against the Russian military aggression for its freedom and independence as well as for the respect to the democratic values and international norms. Thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and wounded in this struggle.

Any reference to my country and my fellow compatriots in such a contemptuous way is appalling and unacceptable.

What disturbs me the most is that EUobserver seems to be used to spread the recent Russian narrative on the possible non-recognition of the results of the presidential elections in Ukraine.

It is alarming that it is done just a few days after a bill on non-recognition of the Ukraine's election results was submitted to the Russian State Duma.

With the five-year experience of Russia's hybrid warfare against Ukraine, I can hardly believe that it is a simple coincidence, but not a coordinated campaign.

Monitoring of the activity of Russian media and diplomacy has shown that Kremlin's key messages have been throughly tailored and its special information operations against Ukraine have become more systematic.

Most messages can be broken down into a number of categories, each of them relating to a large narrative, which the Russians are pushing into the global information space.

One of the Russian narrative describes Ukraine as "the failed state", which occasionally coincided with author's assumptions that Ukraine may turn "into a Venezuela-style banana republic".

Recently Russian politicians and media launched another narrative stating that Ukrainian elections will be rigged and therefore manipulation is the only option for the current president of Ukraine to be re-elected. This narrative was also repeated by Mr Sukhov.

Let me assure you that I strongly believe that respect for freedom of expression and freedom of the press are fundamental human rights and an integral part of any democratic society.

But I would kindly ask you not to let EUobserver be used as a tool in Russia's hybrid warfare against Ukraine.

Mykola Tochytskyi is Ukraine's ambassador to the EU

TV comic wins first round of election in jaded Ukraine

A Ukrainian comic won the first round of presidential elections in a country jaded by never-ending corruption allegations and five years of Russian warfare. He is now set to face incumbent Petro Poroshenko in a run-off in three weeks' time.

How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament

British plans to - maybe - take part in EU elections risk legal chaos in the next European Parliament, which could be resolved only by treaty change - an unlikely prospect.

Press freedom and the EU elections

We are campaigning for the next European Commission to appoint a commissioner with a clear mandate to take on the challenge of the protection of freedom, independence and diversity of journalism.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. EU want Facebook pan-EU advert fix for May elections
  2. Ukraine comic-president invited to EU capitals
  3. Trump's Israel plan to 'test' EU resolve
  4. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  5. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  6. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  7. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  8. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  6. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  7. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  8. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  9. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  11. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  12. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us