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Seven Stories on Ukraine by Dutch People

On the eve of the referendum on Ukraine Association Agreement with the EU, Netherlanders, who live in Ukraine or those, who have close ties with the country urged to support Ukraine on its path towards democracy.
 In the 18-minute film, initiated by the Belgian NGO Promote Ukraine, they shared their overall impressions of the country and thoughts on how they imagine various paths of Ukraine’s future development. Most of the speakers acknowledge that for the Netherlanders, who have never been in Ukraine, it is quite difficult to get an objective picture of the country from the news. Thereof, the main idea of ​​the film is to get the public acquainted with Ukraine through the eyes of those Dutch citizens, who know of the country from their personal experience.
As it is noted by the Dutch investor Peter de Vreede, who has worked in Ukraine for over 23 years: “If we combine the experience and the knowledge of both Ukraine and the Netherlands, then maybe, we can feed the entire world”. De Vreede reassures that Dutch support is vital for Ukrainians since there is a clear desire for change in Ukraine and most people are ready to fight corruption and oligarchy.
In addition, CFO of the investment project Galicia Greenery, Michael Honders, mentions that Ukraine has a great potential for Dutch manufacturers on the local level: “There are 46 million people, who must have something to eat”. He also adds that there have been a number of changes in Ukraine in the past three years, and it has become much easier work in the country.
Honders’s words are further confirmed by the entrepreneur Ton Pennings, who owns a factory in Lviv. “Two years ago, we always had numerous inspections. We had to pay for the absence of the fire alarm, or because it wasn’t working the right way; or, for instance, for the absence of the ‘220-volt’ sign just above the socket. Now, all these inspections are prohibited because they were a major source of bribes. Many laws have changed and currently, the European standards are at work “, he tells.
Finally, philosopher Rud May sees the roots in history. In his opinion, Ukraine happened to be on ‘the worse side of the Berlin Wall and was unable to develop’. Now, however, the barrier no longer exists, so there is no reason not to support Ukraine in its aspiration to join the democratic camp.
Promote Ukraine initiated this movie on a voluntary basis involving activists from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Ukraine.

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