The National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) has approved the establishment of the Centre for Countering Disinformation, which will begin its work on 16 March.

Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Oleksiy Danilov made a corresponding statement at a briefing. He noted that the staff of the Intelligence Service would be involved in the Centre’s activity.

“This Centre was set up by the decision of the National Security and Defence Council. It will start to work next Tuesday. The Centre will be located in the administrative office of the National Security and Defence Council. There will be the utmost intensification of activity; we will work on a daily basis… We will manage to repel disinformation spread by the Russian Federation,” the official said.

According to him, the Centre will operate separately and will have its own chief, who will be appointed by the President of Ukraine.

The information about the launch of the Centre was confirmed by Head of the President’s Office Andriy Yermak, who stressed that “this body is not and will not be political.” He also stressed that international partners were also interested in participating in the Centre’s activity.

During the briefing, Danilov also said that the Security Service of Ukraine would check the motivation of MPs who had voted for the so-called Kharkiv Accords in April 2010, according to which Russia had received the right to extend the deployment of its fleet in Crimea.

The Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council noted that the circumstances of the vote of incumbent Members of Parliament, oligarchs, and “people who are very interesting to you” would be checked. In total, the Kharkiv Accords were supported by 236 members of the Verkhovna Rada.

As a reminder, on 21 April 2010, the then president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev signed the so-called Kharkiv Accords, which provided for the extension of the Black Sea Fleet’s deployment in Ukraine for another 25 years (until 2042) in exchange for lower gas prices.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified the Kharkiv Accords on 27 April 2010.

Immediately before the agreements were signed, Russia had increased the natural gas price of significantly. After the occupation of Crimea, the State Duma of the Russian Federation terminated those agreements unilaterally.

Bohdan Marusyak

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