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KIEV, May 23. /TASS/. As of Tuesday night, more than 20,000 users have signed an internet petition to the president of Ukraine, requesting to restore access to Russia’s VK (Vkontakte) social networking site, according to an electronic vote on the presidential website.
"This decision by the president of Ukiaine entails a number of negative consequences," the petition reads, describing the social network as a "huge advertising platform that helps to promote domestic goods, art, content and so on."
"The loss of this platform will have an extremely negative impact on domestic producers of any type of goods, services and events," it says.
Last week, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed an expanded blacklist consisting of 1,228 Russian individuals and 468 companies. This time, a number of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) members, judges of the Russian Constitutional Court, journalists and TV channels have been added to the blacklist.
Besides, sanctions have been imposed on several Russian companies, including 1C, ABBYY and their Ukrainian subsidiaries. In addition, Russia’s VKontakte and Odnoklassniki social networks, Mail.ru and Yandex internet companies have been banned.
The banned Russian internet companies have a significantly large audience in Ukraine. Yandex claims to have as many as 11,000,000 Ukrainian users while about 25,000,000 of Ukrainian citizens use the Mail.ru platforms for communication. A total of 16,000,000 people in Ukraine use the Vkontakte social network, while the number of Odnoklassniki users totals around 9,500,000.