Read the original text at eurointegration.com.ua.
March 27, President Poroshenko met with the ambassadors of the "Great Seven" and the European Union. According to our information, the conversation was scheduled for the last week after Ukrainian authorities were promoting Nigel Brown for the post of NABU auditor. But then meeting was transferred, and scandal with electronic declaration of civil activists appeared on the agenda.
Indicative is the difference in the reporting on the meeting of different parties, the presidential administration and representation of the EU.
The presidential press service said that "particular attention was paid to the worsening situation in Donbas in connection with recent destructive actions of Russia, that the parties agreed to continue pressure on Russian authorities, and the ambassadors expressed understanding of forcened blockade of the occupied territories and etc. Only briefly, in one sentence, informed the president his interlocutors on reform, particularly in the fight against corruption.
Instead, the EU argued that the main theme of the meeting and were anti-corruption problems, not the situation in Donbas.
"Ambassadors discussed with President Poroshenko a number of recent issues that have been of concern, including inter alia related to the reform agenda, and specifically to the fight against corruption, particularly such as the extension of electronic asset declarations to representatives of civil society. They were encouraged by President Poroshenko’s promise to convene a working group, including civil society, to look at recent legislative amendments. They emphasized Ukraine’s need for institutional stability as a prerequisite for further reform. They also vowed to further support Ukraine on its reform path, the ownership of which lies fully in the hands of Ukraine," said a representative of the European Union.
The situation seemingly is very strange, but the real problem is quite common.
Ukrainian authorities of at all times and presidents has been trying to manipulate information relating to Ukraine foreign relations and contacts with the foreign partners. Manipulation has always been aimed at internal audiences.
The goal is to submit foreign affairs in better form than they really are. In times of Yushchenko and Yanukovych number and scale of the manipulation grew with the aggravation of the political situation.
Therefore, there is reason to believe that the trend of such manipulations would become even stronger now. Therefore it is necessary to study this problem deeper and find out what types of "foreign policy manipulations" are often used by the Ukrainian politicians.
Exaggeration important events
A good example of this kind of information fraud occurred April 1, 2016.
Press office of President Poroshenko said that he met with US President Barack Obama. It happened in New York, where a traditional summit on nuclear security took place. The press office has posted even some photos.
And very quickly it became clear that the "meeting" was just a handshake protocol before lunch for the guests of the summit. And there was a bunch of similar photos of Obama with other presidents – in the same interior and made about the same time.
Moreover, the press service of the White House takes the photo as a protocol made before lunch. In short, the presidential PR managers subjected Poroshenko to ridicule.
Just as four and a half years before they did with Yanukovych. In September 2011, Bankova told about a conversation of Yanukovych and Obama at a meeting of the UN General Assembly, although later it turned out that presidents only greeted and told a few words in the hallway. And how not to mention the recent alleged "meeting" of Tymoshenko with the newly elected US president Donald Trump at prayer breakfast in Washington.
Or another illustrative instance is MP from the Popular Front Georgiy Logvynskyy.
"This is another victory for Ukraine on the international front, - pathetically wrote the deputy in his Facebook on January 23. - In Strasbourg, I was elected Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for the unanimous support facilities. It is a great honor, pride, and responsibility for me. As Vice President and member of the PACE Bureau is the highest position occupied in the international parliamentary arena in the history of Ukraine. But I want to note that this is a victory of the country, and to thank colleagues from the Ukrainian delegation..."
Sounds really "powerful" - but this is not true.
In fact, PACE has 20 vice presidents. They change on a rotating basis, alternating representation of Member States. This is pure formality, even PACE noted that countries are changing each other in alphabetical order.
Also, it is clear that representatives of Ukraine was Vice President of the Assembly before.
A similar "victory" occurred in October 2015 when Ukraine elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council - a formality with pre-agreed and predictable result in Ukraine almost turned into a historical event.
However exaggeration is not the worst sin of manipulation.
Even worse is the "victory" in the form of outright lies. And very often deposited in the mouth of the interlocutor.
The most striking is Poroshenko’s telephone conversation with the then President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz in January 2015. The head of Ukraine after announced that recently the EP vote on a resolution calling for the EU to recognize "DPR/LPR" terrorist organizations. Like, this was promised by Schultz.
This caused a diplomatic scandal, although no one carried it out then. Of course, Schultz did not promise anything alike. It was known that the vast majority of political groups in Europe does not support the idea to recognize "DPR/LPR" terrorist organizations. By the way, Ukraine itself has not officially issued such recognition.
It seems that Poroshenko did not learn the lesson from case with Schulz.
For example, after a visit to Brussels on 20 October 2016 and a number of meetings with the leadership of the European Union, Poroshenko confidently stated that Ukraine would receive a visa-free regime by 24 November at the EU-Ukraine Summit. Of course, no one could promise anything like that, and even technically it was impossible.
Well, one more example.
January 17, 2017 Poroshenko met with President of Switzerland Doris Leuthard at the Davos Economic Forum. "By the end of January, Ukraine would receive $ 100 million that would go to the accounts of the National Bank," press service of Poroshenko triumphantly quoted him.
"Victory" quickly spread through Ukrainian media space. And this money has not come even today.
The very president Leuthard after a meeting with Poroshenko did not tell about the "100 million by the end of January;" as well as Martin Schulz did not tell about his intentions to recognize "DPR/LPR" terrorist organizations.
Gross distortion of the facts
The third kind of manipulation is a specific interpretation of the words of the interlocutors or the outcome of the meeting.
Sometimes it might not be too noticeable, but a considerable exaggeration. A vivid example is Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy, who posted some text from Warsaw a few days ago:
"Together with the president of Poland Andrzej Duda, we talk about tougher sanctions against international criminals - Putin's Russia," wrote Parubiy.
However, the press service of the Polish side interpreted the conversation in a different manner - and correctly according to the today's realities: "In response to Russian aggression policy we must maintain the sanctions, but it requires European unity."
Perhaps, however, maybe Parubiy talked on tightening sanctions. Previously, autumn 2016 year, he also predicted a quick visa free regime - referring to a conversation with the same long-suffering Martin Schulz. But the general picture is that Parubiy should still learn from experienced colleagues.
Sometimes, after international meetings Ukrainian politicians voice some doubtful ideas.
For example, President Poroshenko met in February in Munich with US Vice President Mike Pence.
"Ukraine is among the priorities of the new US presidential administration – said the President after meeting with Vice President Mike Pence," Poorshenko’s spokesman Svyatoslav Tseholko wrote on Twitter.
But after meeting with Poroshenko, the White House did not mention any "priority" of Ukraine.
"Vice President stressed US support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and self-determination of Ukraine and stressed that the US does not recognize the Russian occupation of Crimea," informed the White House.
And again: "Vice President expressed appreciation for Ukraine's progress in reforms, and the leaders agreed on the importance of further reform to transform Ukraine into a prosperous and safe European country for the benefit of all its citizens."
Presidential press service did not mentioned about the reforms. As well as the report of a recent meeting of Poroshenko and the ambassadors of the "Great Seven" and the EU.
This trend would likely become more common, the theme of reforming the country would become increasingly nastier and unpleasant during the meetings with Ukraine’s Western partners. Obviously, we would more talk about "support", "priority", "unity" and so on.
Again, these are the traditions of the previous governments. During Yushchenkos and Yanukovych’s presidency, manipulating the information on foreign policy increased with internal problems aggravation.