Welcoming remarks by President of Ukraine Petro POROSHENKO at the 10th Kyiv Security Forum “Old Conflicts and New Dynamics: Strategies for a Changing World”



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Welcoming remarks by President of Ukraine Petro POROSHENKO at the 10th Kyiv Security Forum “Old Conflicts and New Dynamics: Strategies for a Changing World”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Arseniy,

Dear prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,

Dear friends,

It is my pleasure to open the jubilee, 10th, meeting of Kyiv Security Forum.

Over these ten years, the Forum has been an engaging platform for open debates, as well a lab for new ideas.

I cannot but express words of my gratitude to you, Arseniy, and your team who are doing a real great job in the interests of Ukraine.

Let me also thank the distinguished audience for your genuine interest in Ukraine.

Your support is extremely crucial as we all fight for peace and the rule of law.

And not only in Europe, but globally.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have just returned from Latvia and Denmark – our true friends and close partners.

At every single meeting, I felt support to Ukraine as a forefront of our joint fight for the Free World and for its values and principles.

I am back with a strong confidence that these times of existential challenges could become times of far-reaching changes.

The same feeling I had in Malta, where I participated in the meeting of the biggest European political family – the EPP – last week.

It was a milestone meeting in many senses.

I saw a united Europe with a clear vision of its path forward.

I saw an inspired Europe after the Austrian and Dutch elections.

I saw a committed Europe to support its partners and to defend the legacy of its Founding Fathers.

I saw a determined Europe we believe in so much.

No doubt: these are difficult times.

We still look for a response to a number of complex challenges.

Definitely, we won’t solve all problems at once.

However, we know the power that weaponises them.

Crisis in Europe is a fight of two opposite ideas of Europe: freedom or tyranny.

And only one of these ideas will prevail in the end.

In 2015, Timothy Snyder wrote a brilliant article – “Edge of Europe, End of Europe”.

He digs deep into the history to grasp the difference between Ukraine and Russia.

Referring to heritage of Ukrainian thinkers, he describes it as permanent opposition of Ukrainian universalism and Russian provincialism – freedom and tyranny.

Ukrainians always looked at the world through the lens of universal ideas of liberation, freedom, human dignity and the rule of law.

We still do.

This is how we see our future – the European one.

And that is the difference between Ukraine and Russia.

Russia seeks its future in its imperial past.

In the past of No freedom. No human dignity. No rule of law.

In the past of oppression and imperial expansion.

That is what they practiced before. That is what they practice now.

Occupation of Crimean peninsula and Donbas is a display of Russian provincialism.

It targets the basic principles of order, stability and prosperity.

While a modern Ukraine rests on a strong civil society, Russia suppresses its own.

A Ukraine progressing along reforms and democracy is an existential threat to Moscow.

These very days, the repressions picked up the youngest on Moscow’s streets.

But the human spirit is ultimately indestructible.

Dear friends,

Russia wants to throw us into the world described by Strugatsky brothers in their famous fiction “Inhabited Island”.

A “Massaraksh” – “the world inside-out”.

The world that is governed by the ‘Oligarchy of Unknown Fathers’.

Their only interest is to retain the power and to take satisfaction from the power.

That power rests on repression, people’s fatigue, ignorance and fear.

‘Broadcast towers’ and prosecution of dissidents help to keep the loyalty.

Don’t you see the similarities?

Kremlin hacks our values to promote its alternative agenda.

It uses its modern ‘broadcast towers’ under the cover of freedom of speech to spread its insolent propaganda.

It exploits electoral procedures to infect the very heart of European democracy.

Kremlin considers territorial expansion as “moral nobility” and “historic destiny”.

With the occupation of Crimea and Donbas, the ‘inhabited island’ of repression and lawlessness expands its borders.

Russian oligarchic ‘Unknown Fathers’ are doing their best to forge an alliance with Eurosceptics and nationalists. We heard them yesterday on the debate in the European Parliament. We heard their arguments. Most of them unfortunately were written down in the Kremlin.

The aim is (a) to blow up the legacy of Western Founding Fathers from inside.

And (b): to build a new “alternative Europe” – its own “Massaraksh” based on their alternative values.

Dear friends,

To shape the strategy we need to define carefully our goals and instruments.

Kremlin is preparing for the presidential elections in 2018.

It is getting more aggressive to cover its weaknesses.

Russia changed its tactics both in Crimea and Donbas by raising stakes up to creation of quasi-states.

Russia continues to pursue an absolutely unconstructive stance.

Its key task is to destabilize Ukraine.

It steps up repression in Crimea to silent the dissidents.

Moscow brutally tried to throw Poland against Ukraine.

It started with burning Ukrainian flags and vandalizing Ukrainian memorial in Poland.

Latter the same cynical scenario was repeated in Ukraine.

But friendship and partnership between our countries is much more resilient.

Russia continues militarization and flexes its muscles, trying to distract attention from its own domestic problems.

Therefore, Russia will not stop producing security vacuum in Europe.

On the one hand, Russia calls for global partnership against terrorism.

On the other, it creates a black hole on its own border.

It creates problems for its own banks by forcing them to accept ‘fake documents’ that is a violation of international obligations to prevent financing terrorism and organized crime.

And we, the Ukrainian state, go to The Hague court to make Russia responsible for that.

On the one hand, Moscow protects sovereignty as a key principle of international relations.

On the other, it steals Crimea to punish Ukraine for its pro-EU choice.

Russia proves being an aggressor that is increasingly out of control.

And it would be a mistake to believe that the aggressor would show good will.

This aggressor is neither cooperative nor predictable.

Its commitments are not credible.

Shelling in Donbas, killings of Ukrainians, subversive activities of Russia in Ukraine prove that every single day we have worsening of the situation.

This is the reality.

Any improvement of relations with Moscow – be it of the West in general or of the US or the EU in particular – goes through Kyiv.

There is no way around!

We have to see it clearly, instead of believing in a Russian good will it can be possible.

It is time to wake up!

The more hesitant we are today – the greater challenge we get tomorrow.

We have to take a proactive approach, instead of reacting to another provocative step of Moscow.

We should not shy before Russia. Not now, nor in the future.

Let us surprise Russia with our determination.

Let us surprise Russia with how strong our unity is.

Let us surprise Russia with our unwavering solidarity against aggression and behind the rule of law and international order.

We have all tools in our disposal to restrain Russia’s aggressive behavior.

The price of aggression has to grow, until Moscow respects international rules.

Sanctions is the very instrument to contain Kremlin and reverse its behavior.

We need strategic patience to restore the peace and the rule of law.

As well as, we need our resolve to tighten sanctions every time Russia crosses another red line.

Russia has already dispelled the illusions about its good will.

The West has to acknowledge that today a secure Ukraine means a secure Europe, and, if broader – a secure transatlantic community.

Stronger defense alliance with Ukraine should be our joint response.

Improving defense capabilities of Ukraine equals to strengthening the West itself.

Providing Ukraine with modern equipment, including radio-electronic and anti-radar systems, is investment in our common security, not only in the Ukrainian one.

Today our struggle is not only a fight for Ukraine’s independence but for the future of the Free World.

And I am confident, if Ukraine failed, democracy would lose.

Just a few days ago, Ukraine and Canada signed a defense cooperation agreement that sets a framework for joint research and production.

A right step in a right direction, in a right time, in a right place.

Dear friends,

I want to repeat one of my favourite quotes by Natan Sharansky about the three sources of power of the free world – the power of an individual’s inner freedom, of a free society, and of the solidarity of the free world.

Having two of them, today Ukraine needs your support not only on the battlefield, but also on its second frontline – implementing reforms.

Standing here, I want to reassure you – there will be no backsliding in reforms.

We are committed to


building up capacity and integrity of the state institutions;


empowering the Ukrainian civil society;


creating necessary preconditions for economic recovery and growth.


Important is that our international partners acknowledge our progress.

Just this Monday the IMF Executive Board decided to disburse the next tranche of financial support to Ukraine.

This decision is timely and encouraging. And that has never happened before. For the fourth consecutive time, Ukraine fulfills its obligations, the Memorandum and enjoys respect of the international community.

We’re encouraged also by EU’s decision on macro-financial assistance to Ukraine.

And very symbolically that exactly in one hour, the European Parliament will vote for visa-free with Ukraine. And I am confident that it will happen. Voting in the European Parliament and in a few weeks decision of the European Union Council. This our joint victory and our joint hard work. 144 points were in our visa liberalization plan and we fulfilled all of them. The assessment mission one year ago made an absolutely clear decision: Ukraine has fulfilled the obligations and the ball is now on the European side. Our opponents think that the problem inside Europe will stop Europe from granting us the visa-free. And yesterday we heard very weak voices against Ukraine and a strong chorus of supporters of Ukraine in the European Parliament, which, I am confident, will be demonstrated today in already 55 minutes.

It will be a historical voting not only for Ukraine. I am absolutely confident that this is a historical voting for United Europe. Europe where the Ukrainian future is.

It will be a well-deserved reward for Ukrainians for their strong belief in European idea. The idea of Europe that launched and sparked the Revolution of Dignity. If anybody wants to stop us on this glorious way, we demonstrated during the Revolution of Dignity and are ready to demonstrate it anywhere once again.

And it will prove the EU’s commitment to building bridges across Europe respecting the will Europe’s Founding Fathers.

As to Ukraine, we will definitely continue to do our part.

We will gradually increase our resilience.

It is in the best interests for my country.

It is in the best interests for the European Union.

And I am absolutely confident that it is in the best interest for the Free World.

We all know a famous label “For European recovery supplied by the United States of America”.

Today we need a similar label for Ukraine - ‘For Ukrainian recovery supplied by the United Free World’.

I will say over and over again – Ukraine needs its own Marshall Plan that once helped to rebuild Europe from the ashes.

This new plan will prove that friends stand together with Ukraine.

And I want to appreciate the EPP family once again for supporting this idea on Malta Forum.

In particular, I am grateful to our colleagues from the Baltic States, Prime Ministers, Governments. I am grateful to our Lithuanian friends and personally to Mr. Andrius Kubilius who invested a lot to make it happen and presented me this plan in Malta.

As I understand, he will present his vision at the Forum shortly.

To sum up, what we need for our strategy is:


united and resolute transatlantic community in defending our, not Ukrainian, but Free World’s, our common values;


resilient Western society;


no compromises on Russian aggression, including sanctions policy;


open and inclusive EU towards its Europe-oriented partners and allies


and practical support of Ukraine.


That is our best strategy in a changing world of old conflicts and new dynamics.

It is our chance to break the vicious circle of struggle between Ukrainian universalism and Russian provincialism.

It is our chance to prove the strength of freedom over tyranny.

Сообщает Администрация Президента Украины









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