Ukraine Celebrates Unity Day Centennial
Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine will continue the course towards joining the European Union and NATO
Ukraine has firmly set foot on the path of strengthening freedom, independence, on the path of joining the European Union and NATO. This was stated by President Petro Poroshenko on January 22 during a speech on the occasion of the Day of Unity and the centenary of the proclamation of the Act of Reunification of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the West Ukrainian People’s Republic.
“And in order to force us to renounce this choice, Moscow annexed Crimea and tried to split us into pieces so that it could be easily swallowed. Again, we were faced with the threat of losing conciliarity and independence. But at the cost of great sacrifices, at the cost of great efforts of the Ukrainian people, this threat has been averted. And in a tough confrontation with terrorists, with Russian mercenaries and with units of the regular Russian army, you and I stopped the enemy. And our slogan was: One country “, – said President Petro Poroshenko.
He noted that the course towards joining NATO and the European Union is “clear and systemic, consistent steps in accordance with our long-term strategy.”.
“And the transition to the European quality of life of Ukrainians is the main content of our state policy, which is based on the unity of our people,” said Petro Poroshenko.
“Europe means high living standards, and NATO is a reliable guarantee of security,” the President added..
According to the Ukrainian leader, the level of GDP growth at the end of 2018 will be 3.4%. “This is not much, but this is the highest figure in seven years. Inflation dropped to 9.8%. It is still quite high, but it is the lowest in five years. Gold and foreign exchange reserves rose to nearly $ 21 billion. This is a five-year maximum “, – stated Petro Poroshenko, his press service reports..
On the occasion of the Day of Unity, he addressed the Ukrainians, “fellow countrymen who live within the borders of Ukraine, but in the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea, part of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions”.
“We never forget about you. We work every day to bring closer the day of your liberation from the hostile yoke, “the President of Ukraine said..
He noted that Ukraine is a unitary state with one state language. “No federations and no special statuses. The only independent cathedral Ukraine! ” – stressed Petro Poroshenko.
According to the Ukrainian National News Agency, on January 22 in Kiev, on the Paton Bridge, thousands of people symbolically, holding hands, united the two banks of the Dnieper – the Left and Right Bank parts of Ukraine..
“Divided into two columns, the protesters moved towards each other along the northern pedestrian part of the Paton Bridge in order to symbolically connect the two banks of the Dnieper in memory of important historical events of 1919. Each column carried its part of the 30-meter flag – blue or yellow, united in the middle of the bridge and formed the 30-meter flag of Ukraine, ”Ukrinform reports on January 22, 2019.
On the unity of Ukraine on European integration
Ukrainian political scientist Valentin Bushansky believes that the Ukrainian people during the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 determined the irreversibility of the country’s European integration and Euro-Atlantic course.
“When the Ukrainian people ‘threw out’ Viktor Yanukovych from the presidency, who was an outspoken collaborator and pulled Ukraine into the Customs Union with Russia, worked to destroy Ukrainian sovereignty and return Ukraine to the imperial yoke, – from that moment on, the country’s course towards rapprochement with the European Union and integration to NATO has become irreversible. This is the demand of the Maidan: there is no contradiction in Ukrainian society on this issue. When anti-Ukrainian propagandists say that there is a split in Ukraine, there is East and West, the distinction between Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking is propaganda. According to opinion polls, the east and south do not doubt the need for a European perspective for Ukraine, ”says Valentin Bushansky to the correspondent of the Russian service “Voice of America”.
The Ukrainian political scientist notes that there is “not a single” political party in the country that doubts the need to choose the Euro-Atlantic course for the country’s development..
“And even such political parties, which can be called conformist in relation to Russia, which do not show sufficient activity in countering Russian aggression, even they do not openly say that Ukraine does not need to move closer to the European Union and NATO. Likewise, Yulia Tymoshenko in her speeches clearly stated that she supports Ukraine’s course towards the European Union and NATO. How frank this statement was and whether she was ready to implement it is another matter, but we must clearly say that not a single Ukrainian politician will turn away from the idea of Ukraine’s rapprochement with the European Union and NATO. There is a public demand and consensus regarding this in the country, ”says Valentin Bushansky.
At the same time, he believes that the statements of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko about the Euro-Atlantic course of the country remain at the level of declarations, without the desire for their practical implementation..
“Unfortunately, the President of Ukraine, who came to power with the requirements of a European perspective and life for citizens in a European way, could not or did not want to make enough efforts to make this perspective a reality. Petro Poroshenko, despite the statements and the fact that in the Verkhovna Rada since February 2018, there has been a draft law on making the necessary changes to the constitution – on the irreversible course of Ukraine towards European integration and NATO, did not make efforts to legislatively implement the tasks set, ”says Valentin Bushansky.
From the well-being of the people to political tasks
According to the director of the Institute for Political Analysis and International Studies Sergei Tolstov, in order to follow the Euro-Atlantic integration processes, Ukraine needs a different level of internal, political and economic stability.
“For example, in 2015, one of the main themes of the European People’s Party for Ukraine was the idea of a new Marshall Plan for Ukraine. The Europeans wanted to help create the foundations of economic stability, despite the conflict and loss of territory, to change the nature of internal economic relations in order to enhance the stability of the state. But today German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not say anything about the new “Marshall Plan” for Ukraine. This idea was last put forward by Lithuania, but was not supported by anyone in Europe, and in Berlin they are increasingly talking about a similar idea for African countries. This example is an assessment of the last five years of how effectively the process of implementing Ukraine’s course towards the European Union and NATO is developing, ”Sergei Tolstov told the Voice of America correspondent.
He calls the EU policy on the “Ukrainian issue” difficult, since there is no single policy towards Ukraine in official Brussels.
“Europe is not united on the” Ukrainian issue “, and continues its policy of maneuvering in order to persuade Russia to return to a more restrained behavior in exchange for the resumption of economic projects,” emphasizes Sergei Tolstov.
He also believes that overcoming the conflict in the east of the country is possible after finding solutions in the Russia-USA-Ukraine triangle..
“For a partial solution on Donbass between Ukraine and Russia, a full-fledged dialogue between Moscow and Washington is necessary, and it is now in a phase of aggravation,” Sergei Tolstov believes..
At the same time, the political scientist believes that Ukraine is important for the West from the position of containing the Kremlin’s expansion policy..