Source: President of Ukraine
President Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that Ukraine is confidently moving towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
“We have firmly embarked on the path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. And the guiding stars that shine on the road are the stars of the European Union flag. And the compass of Ukraine is the one pictured on the NATO logo. And from the Soviet past and Russian folk tales we remember very well how dangerous it is to look back,” the Head of State said during a speech at the 15th annual Yalta European Strategy (YES) meeting in Kyiv.
Petro Poroshenko reminded that during the first years of the Yalta meetings Ukraine did not have a clear position on this direction. “Fifteen years ago, when Ukrainian friends first gathered in Yalta, we were still wandering the multi-vector maze and our European and Euro-Atlantic perspective could only be seen by farsighted and very optimistic strategists,” he said.
The Head of State recalled the Forum of 2013, when Ukrainians fought desperately for the signing of the Association Agreement and did not imagine how firmly the previous government of the state was bound by Moscow ropes. “We did not lose faith until the last moment, did not realize that it was impossible. We could not prevent the worst scenario. And Ukraine’s non-aligned approach to the national security proved to be even more insignificant than the memorable Budapest Memorandum,” Petro Poroshenko said.
“By the way, we recall not only Budapest, but also Bucharest. On the one hand, the 2008 NATO Summit made an extremely important decision that the Alliance’s doors for Ukraine and Georgia are open. On the other hand, Ukraine and Georgia, we have to frankly say this, did not get a plan of action for membership,” the President added. He described such a situation as “the appeasement of a potential aggressor”, which Russia accepted not as appeasement, but as weakness of the West, as a carte blanche to use force against any neighbor. “And in the same year, literally a few weeks after the summit, it attacked Georgia. And for all sober-minded politicians and experts, the deadly threat to Ukraine should have become clear,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
“But Ukrainians did not accept this scenario and defended their willingness to be closer to the EU. The European spirit, the spirit of democracy, the spirit of freedom captured Ukraine, first of all young people, the new generation, which first came to Euromaidan. History is not created where everything has already been solved by politicians, but where the will of people sometimes breaks the plans of politicians. And the tree of history sprouts through the rolled asphalt. That’s what happened in our country, in Ukraine in 2014,” the Head of State noted.