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13 March 2016

interview sourcefile (English)

On .. an interview is published, that refers to source material. This is the page that holds that source material. The interview is written by Rico from the Netherlands en is about Sergiy from Ukraine, Nikolay from Rusland and Steven from the Netherlands. All three are asked the same set of questions about the referendum. If you switch to ‘Dutch‘ you’ll find the Dutch original texts.

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question1: “How would you introduce yourself to our readers and can you tell us something about the Pirate Party in your country?”

Sergiy: “I am Sergiy Yarygin, head PPUA. The current pirate organisation was created in 2010 and is a third reincarnation of pirate movement in Ukraine

The main activities of Ukrainian pirates:

– wrestling with information monopolies and creating alternatives (free software, legalization Creative Commons, …)

– changes in the education system for the growing free-minded citizens. (Implementation of Liquid Democracy in schools)

– education about self-organization and its promotion at the local level, assistance in the creation of institutions of civil society, the development of skills of independent decision-making at the local level, the implementation of Liquid Democracy as a tool for decision-making, the promotion of participatory budgeting in the Kiev.”

Nikolay: “I’m Nikolay Voronov, International coordinator, Media Chief Editor and HQ Secretary of Pirate Party of Russia, as well as PPI (Pirate Parties International) Alternate Board Member

Our Party (Pirate Party of Russia) isn’t large at the moment, but we are very active on social and media level. Our Party have several projects. The largest one is RosKomSvoboda – RuBlackList.NET. We are working to protect internet freedom in Russia and fighting against resource blocking and censorship in russian segment of internet.

We help people to bypass blocking with project OpenRunet (openrunet.ru), and defend their rights in court with ZaRunet (zarunet.org).

Also we struggle with growing copyright pressure on russian segment of internet and launched campaign to reform copyright law  – ChangeCopyright (changecopyright.ru).

Internet freedom in our country is in great danger and government push very hard to take control over Internet, so we have  choice but to resist as much as we can.


Unfortunately, we are not registered because our Ministry of Justice don’t like our “Pirate” name and currently we are trying to challenge the refusal to register in ECHR”


Steven: “My name is Steven Russchenberg I’m an active member of the Pirate Party.

There’s a Pirate Party in Holland as of 2010 and we take part in elections on all levels. In 2014 the Pirate Party got their first representative seat in Amsterdam-West Municipality. One of our main focus there is getting citizens involved in the formation of new policies.

And that takes us to the referendum which in itself is a form of direct democracy.


The manner in which the referendum is now embodied in our law, it has the potential of a dead sparrow. In democracy the way the Pirate Party would have it, citizens can put items on the agenda, with a say about a solution in an way earlier stage. Not focussed on ideology but on topic. All facilitated by e-democracy systems. “

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question2: “What’s the people’s view about the association treaty in your country? What is the general opinion?”

Sergiy: “Association for Ukrainians, it is:

– the possibility of upgrading the civilized state peacefully: the elimination of corruption, stable protection of human rights, the rule of law, development of democracy, the expansion of freedom of speech;

– creation of conditions for business development;

– the development of civilized trade with  more countries. Today Ukraine has signed and already working  arrangements on joint trade treaty with  almost 30 countries – Israel, Lebanon, the countries  in Central and South America.”

Nikolay: “literally, we don’t care too much. We think that is an internal matter of the Netherlands, UE and Ukraine. Many people have not even heard about this referendum. EU isn’t a threat and never was.”

Steven: “I think most people find it difficult to form an opinion on this treaty. I could not find a leading opinion, though the opponents of the treaty appear to shout the loudest.

In the run up to the referendum, I see different opinions;





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question3: “What do you think the relationship between the EU, Ukraine and Russia in let’s say ten years from now, would be like and what influence do you think the referendum on April 6 in the Netherlands could have on that?”

Sergiy: “Unfortunately, the Kremlin’s aggressive policy towards the countries of the former Soviet Union, the annexation of the Crimean by Kremlin’s  authorities, military intervention to the East of Ukraine,  information war against Ukraine naturally contributed to the almost complete cessation of relations with Russia.

Before all  these events, which occurred two years ago, Russia has played a significant role in the economy of Ukraine. I am sure that after the change of political course of the Kremlin and the recognition of the rights of  the independent states for an independent policy,  eventually all things will return almost to their previous level of relations. I am sure that after a while we will assist the establishment and development of democracy in Russia.”

Nikolay: “they became worse, just a fact we already know, but it have nothing with NL-referendum or association treaty.NL referendum will not affect on relationships between Russia and EU, or between Russia and Ukraine. So called “relationship issue” is overrated in media. Russian government have fears on NATO, but not on EU.”

Steven: “If there is (political) will, there will be good relations.

Russia and Ukraine are our (EU) neighbors and a good neighbor is better than a distant friend.

The referendum has minimal impact on it, as a lot can happen in ten years”

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question4: “What impact do you expect of the Association Agreement on the economy of Ukraine as a whole, and the economic situation of the Ukrainian citizen as individuals?”

Sergiy: “I do not see a direct link between the association and the development of the economy. The development of democracy, the rule of law, harmonization of legislation and only after that, as a consequence – the development of business and improvement of citizens welfare.”

Nikolay: “i’m citizen of Russia, so i don’t know, i better skip this question =)”

Steven: “The average citizen outside of the (big) cities would notice little progress.”

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question5: “What do you think is the impact of this association agreement to the relationship between the EU-Russia and Ukraine-Russia?”

Sergiy: “Ukraine is an independent country. And to be honest, I do not understand why the development of democracy and business in Ukraine should affect  the relations with Russia.”

Nikolay: “There is no problem i think.

Russia have constructive trade and political relationships with many EU-countries, association agreement itself isn’t a problem, i believe there are no significant impact (good or bad).

we do have problems on geopolitical level.”

Steven: “The way the game is currently being played, it is bad for the relations between these countries. Cooperation and trade in the long run are best for all parties involved.”

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question6: “To what extent is the population of Ukraine as a whole represented by its government. What’s your opinion on Ukraine in its current (constitutional) form?”

Sergiy: “In the period of Yanukovych the most corrupt hierarchy was built from the bottom up to the President. The reason for the beginning of Revolution of Dignity  was  the realization of the impossibility of living in a fully corrupted state. Now Ukrainians are aware that it is impossible to change the system that has existed since Soviet times in a flash . We trust in democratically elected government bodies. But at the same time we provide them constant pressure to accelerate the introduction of democratic changes and the inability to roll back to the past.

Regarding Ukraine’s (constitutional) form;

According to the Constitution Ukraine is a unitary state with a parliamentary presidential form of government. The vast majority of Ukrainians are satisfied with it. We have been supporting the decentralization of power and devolution of power, which is now being carried out by government authorities together with the active part of the citizens.”

Nikolay: “On first part of question – i have no idea.

On second part – Ukraine is independent country in its constitutional form, what else i can say?”

Steven: “I can not say anything about that. Knowledge is missing.”

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question7: “If there were any thing you could change about this association agreement between the EU and Ukraine, what would that be?”

Sergiy: “I would simplify the Association Agreement.  Too many details are written. And I would not have politicized the process of association. In fact, it is more economic  agreement than the political one.”

Nikolay: “nothing to change there, i better suggest to change trade agreements between Russia and EU to avoid any possible negative “impacts” (or it’s better to say – fears) each time when EU keep going  to new countries.

sign agreement with Russia – problem solved =)”

Steven: “I would delete the military part, that’s not needed in a trade agreement. Should EU membership come up in future discussions, it could become part of discussions again. (For me every European country could try seek membership to the EU. Russia also.)”

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question8: “Is there another question that you would like to have been asked in this interview?”

Sergiy: “Rather, the question for the Dutch people: What is the EU-Ukraine Association for you? What do you expect from its implementation?”

Nikolay: “why we can’t live in peace? =)”

Steven: “Will you vote? (yes I will)”

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question9 English: “Any final thoughts you would want to share with the Dutch that get to vote on april 6th, or our other readers of this interview?”

Sergiy: “I’d like to emphasize the point that this agreement is about the economical association and common market, not about the Ukraine`s association with EU”

Nikolay: “I envy you, referendum is the best form of direct democracy =)”

Steven: “Inform yourself and vote! (casting your vote without choosing YES or NO is also a vote)”

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The questions and answers by Sergiy from Ukraine and Nikolay from Russia were translated to Dutch. Response by Steven of the Netherlands was translated into English. The original unedited texts can be found on https://dutchvote.eu. Would you read our website before April 6th? And would you join online and share what you think could be done better as a collective effort? We’re hosting Piratecafe’s through March and April where you can join in the debate and we’re doing online discussion tools on the website. I’ll be there too. I hope to see you there.

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