NATO chief comments on Ukraine`s ban of Russian social networks

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says that the blocking of Russian social networks in Ukraine is an issue of national security, not freedom of speech.

”The Ukrainian government has made clear that this decree to close some of the sites is an issue of security, not one of freedom of speech. And freedom of speech is part of the dialogue we have with Ukraine. It`s extremely important for NATO,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference ahead of the Meeting of NATO heads of state and government.

”We see how vulnerable many societies are against cyber attacks. And therefore, NATO has significantly increased our own cyber defenses. We are also working with partner countries, including Ukraine, on how we can help them to strengthen their cyber networks, cyber defense,” he said.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on new sanctions against Russia, which include blocking access to social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, as well as Yandex online services.

The initiator of the Yandex ban was the Security Service of Ukraine. The mechanism for blocking access to the Russian online resources and prohibiting the use of the Russian-made accounting software 1C was entrusted to the Cabinet of Ministers and the Security Service with the participation of the National Bank.

On May 17, the presidential decree came into force.

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